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Here’s a simple new way to stop Google from keeping your location history

Here’s a simple new way to stop Google from keeping your location history
[Photo: chuttersnap/Unsplash]

Google has expanded its auto-delete privacy controls to include location history, so now you can prevent the company from keeping a lifetime record of your whereabouts.

To auto-delete your location history, open the Google Maps app on your phone, then select “Your Timeline” from the sidebar menu. Hit the “…” menu button in the top-right corner, select Settings and Privacy, then choose “Automatically delete Location History” from the menu. Choose either the 3-month or 18-month option, and Google will remove your location records after that window of time.

As with before, you can also “pause” location tracking by visiting Google’s Activity Controls page, then disabling the Location History toggle. While Google still has other ways of following you around–for instance, by taking snapshots of your location while using other apps like Chrome, if you allow the browser to access your location–disabling Location History at least keeps the company from building up a detailed timeline of your movements.

Personally, I’ve had Location History disabled for a while now, and it hasn’t noticeably affected my experience with using Google products.

Correction: An earlier version of this story said that auto-delete for location was part of Google’s existing Web & App Activity controls. Instead, it is a separate control within the Google Maps mobile app.

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