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Google location data: what does Australian court ruling mean and how can I turn off my tracking history?

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April 16, 2021 at 10:22AM

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Two experts on the significance of the ACCC court win that found Google ‘partially’ misled users over location data

If you have ever used Google Maps on your phone without fiddling with the location settings, it goes without saying that the tech giant knows everywhere you’ve been. The really bad news is that even if you have previously tried to stop Google tracking your every movement, the company may have done so anyway.

On Friday the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) won a legal action in the federal court, which ruled that, thanks to a peculiar set-up that required a user to check “No” or “Do Not Collect” to both “Location History” and “Web & App Activity” on some Android and Pixel phones, someone who ticked “No” to just one would still end up being tracked.

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