(WIVB) – A new Google Maps feature could be tracking your every move – right now. “Your Timeline” has the ability to record everywhere you go. The app displays the results on a spaghetti-like map.
You can limit this. It’s only the case if you’re logged into Google on your Android device or computer. Google records data on you iPhone, but Your Timeline isn’t available for iOS just yet.
News 4’s sister station News Channel 8 wanted to see how accurate Your Timeline is when tracking movements. We took a mini tour of Tampa. Our first stop was Amalie Arena. We then stopped at the Florida Aquarium, before making our way to Ybor City.
Once we got back to the Downtown Tampa newsroom, we opened up Google Maps. Sure enough, our every move was recorded and shown on the map – along with times we visited each location.
If you use Google Maps, Google will ask to ‘use your location.’ That’s what triggers Your Timeline to start gathering the information. If this creeps you out, shut the feature off on your phone or your computer. If you’re logged into Google, just click on “My Account” and “Settings.” Toggle the location settings off on your device. On your computer, click your profile picture, then “My Account.” Next, select “Person Info & Privacy.” Scroll down to “Places You Go” and toggle the switch off.
With Your Timeline, you can add locations, and check your movements from any given week, month or year. The feature can also match pictures you’ve taken with the locations.
Google says Your Timeline is private and only visible to the user. Your Timeline is great to have when you have trouble remembering where you were and when. But if you lose your device, it can serve as a blueprint for where you are not – and that can be a treasure map for bad guys.
If you have had location settings on and you’ve compiled all this data, you have the option to delete it all.