If you’re like most people, you take your smartphone with you everywhere you go. Its incredibly useful — you can check Twitter if you’re stuck in line at the grocery store, listen to music while you run, call your family to ask them what they want for dinner and get directions when you’re lost.
But a new CNBC report found the Google Maps app contains a detailed record of every stop you make, every day, what mode of transportation you used to get there, where you parked and the exact time you arrived — even when you’re not using the app.
The tracking record is called Google Maps “Timeline.” You can input any day and it’ll give you a record of the entire day’s travels. It’ll even tell you if you took any pictures that day and where you took them, according to Inc.
Timeline, isn’t an opt-in service. If you have Google Maps on your smartphone — no matter if its an iPhone or Android — it’s already doing this.
You don’t have to delete the app to opt-out.
- Go into the app and tap on your account avatar.
- Click on the option that reads “Your data in Maps.”
- Click on “See & Delete activity” (From this screen, if you’d like, you can also review any of your previous locations on the phone. This is a great chance to maybe try to find that deli you loved but forgot the name of or the store where you got those nice shoes.)
- From there, there will be a menu icon in the top right corner, open it.
- Click on “Settings”
- Click “Delete all location history.”
- From there, return to “Your data in Maps”
- Click to toggle the switch by “Location history” to off.
- Click “Confirm” to turn location tracking off permanently. You will still be able to use the app for directions, but it will no longer keep a record of your past locations.