Google Location History

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Quick! Where were you last Tuesday at 6:35 PM?


If you’re anything like me, your answer is probably along the lines of “I… have absolutely no idea.” Most people’s brains just don’t work that way.


But odds are, Google knows. They probably know where you’ve been most other days, too. And they’ll happily show you, letting you relive your life one step at a time.


Location History is a Google Account–level setting that saves where you go with every mobile device where:


  • You're signed in to your Google Account,
  • You have turned on Location History, and
  • The device has Location Reporting turned on.

 The data saved in your account helps give you more personalized experiences across all Google services.  


When you turn on Location History, you may see a number of benefits across Google products and services, including personalized maps, recommendations based on places you’ve visited, help finding your phone, real-time traffic updates about your commute, and more useful ads.

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The following information is transmitted to Google servers at regular intervals if Location History is enabled according to the analysis of the Quartz researchers:

  • The type of movement, e.g., walking, biking or driving.
  • The barometric pressure.
  • Whether the device is connected to a wireless network.
  • The MAC address of the connected WiFi network.
  • The MAC access, signal strength, and frequency of all nearby wireless access points.
  • The MAC address, identifier, type, and two measures of signal strength of every nearby Bluetooth beacon.
  • The charge level of the battery and charge status.
  • Battery voltage
  • GPS coordinates of the device and accuracy information.
  • GPS elevation and accuracy.

If Bluetooth is enabled, devices with Location History will pick up other Bluetooth enabled devices and submit the information to Google. This means that even if you have Location History disabled on your device or don't use Android, Google may receive information about your whereabouts.

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