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Is Google tracking you?

Posted at 4:17 PM, Aug 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-13 19:17:20-04

A new report finds that Google is tracking your movements, even if you have disabled location tracking in your settings.

Google’s apps can help you find a destination, personalize a search and even help you remember where you parked your car thanks to a slew of personal data, including your location.

"If they know you go to McDonald’s all the time, you are going to start to see McDonald’s ads and those ads are very valuable to Google," says CNET’s Roger Cheng.

According to an investigation by the Associated Press, Google apps automatically stored time-stamped location data of users without their permission, bringing up privacy concerns, including whether law enforcement used that data to track suspects.

Lawmakers are now vowing to step up their oversight of the data collection practices of giant technology companies.
    
U.S. Senator Mark Warner of Virginia said in a statement to the AP that if a Google user disables Location History, it is "perfectly reasonable for that person to expect that apps will not continue tracking their location."
    
Warner said the fact it does not is a "frustratingly common" experience for technology users. He’s calling for policies that give users more control over their data and levy stiff penalties on firms that violate user trust and expectations.
    
Representative Frank Pallone of New Jersey said Congress needs to take action to protect consumers and is calling for public hearings.

Debate over the user’s privacy versus the benefits of location technology continues to rage on, but turning your phone off may be the only way to stay off the grid.