Google is tracking your every move – here’s how to stop it

It probably comes as no surprise that Google keeps track of every place you visit, using the apps on your smartphone.

The information is used to give you recommendations based on locations you’ve visited, targeted ads, traffic news and help finding your mobile.

But while these things can be useful, not all of us feel comfortable with the idea of Google following our every step.

Google has now launched a new feature that allows you to automatically delete your location history after a fixed period of time.

There are currently only two options – automatically deleting your Location History after three months or after 18 months – but it beats leaving a trail of information that you might not want Google or others to see.

Here’s how to automatically delete your Location History on Android and iOS:

  1. Open the Google Maps app
  2. In the top left, tap the Menu icon and select Your Timeline
  3. In the top right, tap the More icon and select Settings And Privacy
  4. Scroll to Location settings
  5. Tap Automatically Delete Location History
  6. Follow the on-screen instructions

If you’d prefer to turn of Location History altogether, you can do so in the the  “Location History” section of your Google Account.

You can also set time limits how long Google can keep your Web & App Activity.

Again, you have to option to automatically delete this data after three or 18 months.

  1. ​Open the Gmail app
  2. In the top left, tap the Menu icon and select Settings
  3. Select your account and then tap Manage your Google Account
  4. At the top, tap Data & Personalisation
  5. Under Activity Controls tap Web & App Activity
  6. Tap Manage Activity
  7. At the top right, tap the More icon and then select Keep Activity For
  8. Tap the option for how long you want to keep your activity and then tap Next.
  9. Confirm to save your choice

The new tools are part of Google’s decision to give use more control over our data.

It also introduced ‘incognito mode’ in a number of its smartphone apps, which stops Google tracking your activity.