Is Google Tracking Your Location? A Sioux Falls Tech Expert Explains

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Many Google services on your smartphone store your location data, even if you’ve edited your privacy settings.

You can “pause” these location services. However, experts say it’s not such an easy fix.

Some people may not mind that Google can see their photos or where they went to lunch, but others sure do.

“I don’t like Google people that I don’t know knowing where I am going, where I’m at,” said Margaret Quimby of Brandon. “It’s kind of creepy to me.”

GPS, Wireless, Bluetooth – there plenty of ways to track your location. Originally, Google said users can “pause” location services, and then Google won’t store their location anymore. However, tech expert Will Bushee says it’s not that simple.

“Google said one thing and then they did something completely different,” said Bushee, the Vice President of Development and BrightPlanet.

Even if you disable location services, some apps will continue to track your location regardless.

For example, Gmail requires a Google server,  so Google can learn your location if you choose to use it.

In fact, some apps won’t load until the user selects the option allowing that app to access their location.

“Google will keep track of every website that you view on your phone, every app that you load, every app that you look at in the app store,” said Bushee. “It’ll know if you take a picture or when you did that.”

Cell service is one of those things you can’t get around. Your cell company will always know where you are.

“So even if you told Google that you don’t want to be tracked, you’re always going to have the cell phone towers that are going to be able to triangulate your location,” said Bushee.

So, what does Google supposedly do with all of your location information? Bushee says they use it for advertisement purposes. For example, it’s easy to market to someone when you know which restaurants they frequent and for how long. Bushee says they don’t sell your personal data itself; they just use your habits to make marketing more personal.

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