Record: Google as soon as made it tougher for Android customers to stay their location non-public

It’s reasonably widely recognized that Google captures your location knowledge virtually repeatedly and, regularly, can immediately pinpoint your location on each Android and iOS smartphones. In accordance to a couple exposed paperwork, Google as soon as purposefully made it tougher for Android customers to prevent this information amassing.


Unredacted paperwork from a lawsuit between Google and the State of Arizona (by way of Trade Insider) expose a couple of main points in regards to the corporate’s inner selections on the way it handles location knowledge, particularly on how Android handles it.

In line with the paperwork, Google staff mentioned that there was once no approach to grant location get entry to to a third-party app on Android with out additionally granting that knowledge to Google. One worker famous that this custom is one thing the corporate wouldn’t need that knowledge “at the entrance web page” of media shops.

It sounds as if, the corporate additionally seen it as a “downside” that customers took good thing about privateness settings inside Android when variations of the running device made the ones choices more uncomplicated to seek out. Because of this, the corporate buried the ones choices below extra menus. Google reportedly “burdened” LG and different Android companions into hiding those settings as neatly. Some other worker added that “that is how Apple is consuming our lunch,” announcing that the rival can be “much more likely” to letting customers percentage location knowledge with apps however no longer Apple itself, some degree that’s emphasised through iOS 14’s (*5*)app monitoring block.

It’s no longer completely transparent if the ways discussed in those paperwork are nonetheless getting used nowadays.

Throughout a deposition, former Google Maps VP Jack Menzel “admitted” that the one manner Google wouldn’t know a consumer’s house/paintings addresses is that if the consumer purposefully threw the corporate off. Jen Chai, a product supervisor at Google over location products and services additionally it appears admitted not to understanding how the corporate’s “complicated internet of privateness settings” interacted with one every other.

Chatting with The Verge in accordance with this file, Google mentioned:

(*11*) and our competition riding this lawsuit have long past out in their approach to mischaracterize our products and services. We have now at all times constructed privateness options into our merchandise and supplied tough controls for location knowledge. We look ahead to environment the report instantly.

Significantly, issues do appear to have modified in recent times as Google has catered additional to privacy-conscious shoppers. In 2021, the corporate rolled out an incognito mode to Maps which permits customers to have complete use of Maps with out the guidelines being tied to their Google account. Additional, Android 12 introduces additional (*4*)keep an eye on over location knowledge equivalent to an way to grant apps/products and services get entry to to specific location knowledge or an approximate location.

Extra on Android:


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