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Creepy Google Maps knows what you saw at the cinema

There have been some terrifying movie stalkers down the years. Max Cady in Cape Fear might be the scariest in our humble opinion. But that was until Google came along to fuel our big screen nightmares.

Google Maps is now capable of reminding you which films you saw at the cinema, simply by tracking your location and making a note of the time.

The new addition to the company’s controversial Timeline feature, can make a decent guess at which films you saw, judging by the location of the movie theatre and the showtimes on that date.

Google explains the feature, which actually went live on February 20, in a support document. If Google has got it wrong, you have the chance to go in and edit the Timeline.

Related: Google Maps year in review

google maps timeline

Image credit: Android Police

The company writes: “Starting February 2020, when visits to cinemas appear on your Timeline, Google can use public showtimes to suggest which movies you might have seen. These are visible only to you and can be edited or deleted anytime.”

As explained in the support document, Timeline users will be able to watch a trailer for the movie and read a synopsis too. The feature was first spied by Android Police, will alert privacy advocates who believe Google overreaches with the Timeline feature, which is a part of its Location History tools.

Google Maps users are able to turn Location History on and off and manually delete previous activity from their Location History. It’s possible to delete all or some of the Timeline entries.

The latest addition to the Timeline comes after a controversial year for Google Maps as pertains to location tracking. An Associated Press report found services like Google Maps was still noting the user’s every move even if they turned off Location History. The only difference turning off the Location History setting made was to ensure the data was no longer added to the company’s consumer-facing Timeline feature.

Remember, if you leave Timeline on, Google knows what you did last summer.

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