Most Google users realize that they are being tracked by the company to a certain degree, but many have been shocked to learn the extent of the data collected. A recent
Associated Press (AP) investigation
revealed that Google is tracking a significant amount of location information, even when individuals utilize privacy settings that prohibit this function.
The investigation also revealed that Google shares time stamped location information with law enforcement, which enables them to identify specific devices near a particular crime scene. While there are benefits to this knowledge, many feel that users should understand how their information is actually being tracked and used.
Google claims that it has provided ample notification, but the explanations were relatively hidden and often unclear. Many u
sers thought that once location tracking was disabled, it would apply across the board in all apps. While i
t is possible to delete this information, it is a tedious process (unless you don't mind deleting all of your stored information at one time).
Google is now facing a class action lawsuit, but the outcome is still unknown. In the meantime, users should familiarize themselves with the situation, thoroughly
check privacy settings
and pay attention to any changes in company policies, practices and government regulations.