We all know Google collects data but we’re always under the assumption that the company will ask us for permission before collecting it. That’s not always the case. In some cases, like when you install Chrome on your desktop, Google will ask if you want to send usage stats to the company. In other cases, like with Google Maps, it doesn’t ask for your consent. Google Maps has been collecting your location data. The good news is you can disable it, and perhaps the satisfying news is that Google is being sued over it. Here’s how to stop Google Maps collecting location data.
Stop Google Maps Collecting Location Data
Open the Google Maps app and tap the hamburger icon inside the search bar at the left. In the navigation drawer that opens, scroll to the very bottom and tap ‘Settings’.
On the Settings screen, scroll down and tap ‘About, terms & privacy’. On the ‘About, terms & privacy’ screen, tap the ‘Location data collection’ option. Turn the Location data collection switch off on the following screen to stop Google Maps collecting location data from your device.
This will stop Google Maps from collecting any further data from your device however, the data that has already been collected isn’t going anywhere. Google has it and we can only hope it will use it for good.
You might think you’re not affected by this or perhaps you’re wondering how this can happen since iOS tells you when an app is actively using your location. Google Maps is not accessing your location while running in the background. If it were, you’d see a blue bar at the top of your iPhone telling you that your location was in use. There is simply no way around that. What ‘Location data collection’ does is that it collects your data while you use Google Maps. This can include, but is not limited to, alternative routes you might take to the ones that Google Maps suggests, or establishments that you might visit from the suggested ones nearby. The app says it’s anonymous data but that doesn’t justify collecting it without your permission.
Delete Google Location Data
If you don’t feel like sharing the anonymous data, you can turn it off but if you also want to delete location data, you can. The process is pretty simple but it’s time consuming because you have to manually scan which dates there is saved data for, and then delete the entry for each day one at a time. Simply head over to your location timeline and delete the data you don’t want Google Maps to have.