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Google Location Tracking Row: Google amends language, but not policy

Google has moved to clarify its location tracking policy, following a damaging report outlining how the company collects GPS data, even when users request otherwise.

The Associated Press had outlined how the Location History feature still kept a record of users’ positioning, even if the Android and iOS users had paused the feature in Google account settings.

Rather than alter the policy, which saw location data collected when using Google Maps and Google Search, the tech giant has revised the wording on its privacy page to offer clarity.

In the updated document, the company says: “This setting does not affect other location services on your device,” before going on to say, “some location data may be saved as part of your activity on other services, like Search and Maps.”

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Previously the page had conveyed Google “the places you go are no longer stored,” if Location History had been turned off.

The change appears to have taken place on Thursday, according to the AP, which has been observing the page since the initial report on August 13. Google has issued a statement to the news agency, claiming the update has made its language more consistent.

It read: “We have been updating the explanatory language about Location History to make it more consistent and clear across our platforms and help centres.”

As we explained in our report on Monday, the policy makes it more difficult for Google account holders to shut down the company’s location tracking practices. However, there is a way to opt out completely.

In a web browser, open your Google Account and access the Settings. Next you’ll need to open Personal Info & Privacy > Go to My Activity > Activity Controls. Toggle Web & App Activity to off.

You can also do it on Android by finding Web & App Activity within Data & Personalisation within the Account Settings page.

Have you altered your Google account settings following the AP’s revelations? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.