Going by the updated Google Account support page, users are now allowed to turn off Location History at the "account level" at any time. Although Google has not revealed what does "some location data" really mean, the earlier AP report claimed Google apps automatically store time-stamped location data without asking. The Location History feature only controls whether locations tracking get added to an account-wide Timeline feature.
Google recently found itself embroiled in a controversy regarding its location tracking policies, after it was found that even users that have opted out of tracking of Location History are still having their location tapped and logged by the search and internet giant.
The page now states: "This setting does not affect other location services on your device" and acknowledges that "some location data may be saved as part of your activity on other services, like Search and Maps".
Google says it's trying to be clearer about how it tracks users on certain apps.
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Huge tech companies are under increasing scrutiny over their data practices, following a series of privacy scandals at Facebook and new data-privacy rules recently adopted by the European Union.
The AP's investigation, conducted with Princeton University researchers and published Monday, found that Google continues to timestamp user locations even after users turn off their location settings. Automated searches of the local weather on some Android phones also store the phone's whereabouts. Google pointed out data can still be deleted. Users could, however, pause location tracking by turning off another setting, called Web and Apps Activity. The sad part about Google's tracking is that most users are unaware of the fact that their every movement is tracked by Google even when they have not granted the permissions for it.
The FTC has declined to say whether it had begun investigating Google for how it has described Location History.