Google says that will prevent the company from remembering where you've been. Researchers, and the publication's own tests, were able to confirm this is the current situation for Android and iOS users.
Turning off Location History only stops Google from saving your movements to your visual history which you can view at any time on your Google account webpage.
"Location History is a Google product that is entirely opt in, and users have the controls to edit, delete, or turn it off at any time".
The privacy issue affects some two billion users of devices that run Google's Android operating software and hundreds of millions of worldwide iPhone users who rely on Google for maps or search. And if you think you're too canny to have been affected, you're probably wrong; Google creates a snapshot of your location when you so much as open Maps. When you search in Google for innocuous topics, like "kids science kits", Google can accurately determine your location up to a square foot of space, according to the report. Instead, it just tells you why that's a bad idea: "Pausing additional Web & App Activity may limit or disable more personalized experiences across Google services". AP's findings suggest that when you tell Google to turn off location tracking, it's only stopping the display of location markers in your apps. The investigation found that users are being misled by Google's claim that for those who turn off Location History "the places you go are no longer stored". Even with Location History paused, some Google apps automatically store time-stamped location data without asking.
At least it isn't an endless game of whack-a-mole, where you turn one setting off but only later discover that yet another one is actually still doing the thing you were trying to stop. An Associated Press investigation found this.
The AP got interested in taking a look at this issue in the first place after hearing about it from K. Shankari, a graduate researcher at UC Berkeley. Here's how to delete those markers and some best-effort practices that keep your location as private as possible. Tap "Location." You can toggle it off for the entire device. Called "Web and App Activity" and enabled by default, that setting stores a variety of information from Google apps and websites to your Google account. A spokesperson for the company said that it provides "clear descriptions" of all the Google tools that people use which may record users' locations.
There would appear to be a privacy concern there, considering some people might not like to know that their every movement is being tracked by a enormous tech company. Ad buyers can target ads to specific locations - say, a mile radius around a particular landmark - and typically have to pay more to reach this narrower audience.
You can also change search engines even in Chrome. That can limit the effectiveness of the Google Assistant, the company's digital concierge. "To me, it's something people should know", he said.