If you’re all-in on Google services â€” say, if you use Google Now on your smartphone â€” you’re likely aware of the fact that Google tracks your location to serve you useful information. What you might not realize is just how much location data Google has on you. Surprisingly enough, the company has just turned that somewhat creepy bit of info into a new feature called Your Timeline. For Google Maps users on Android and on the web, this feature will let you “visualize your real-world routines” â€” a less sketchy way of saying you can see everywhere that Google has tracked you with its Location History setting.
In fitting with Google’s typically excellent app design, Your Timeline shows up in a nice, scrollable format that reminds me of the new Google Calendar app, letting you swipe your way through a day to see where Google saw you. It even pulls in relevant photos you might have taken if you’re using the Google Photos app for that extra bit of “this is your life” oddness. Of course, Google notes that this data is all private to you and you can delete it all at any time, either by the day or en masse. You’re also welcome toÂ turn off Location History in your Google settings at any time, should you have it enabled and want to remove it.
As with most things Google does, your reaction to this will likely vary depending on how deeply you’re hooked in to Google’s services. If you love everything that Google Now provides, this probably won’t bother you â€” and I’m not going to lie, I got a kick out of seeing my various routines and how they vary from day to day or month to month. But if you’re a more privacy-conscious individual, simply take this as a reminder to check out your security and privacy settings. Fortunately,Â Google recently launched a new privacy hub for its users that should make doing that a lot easier.
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