Google Maps is utilized by greater than 1000000000 other people each and every month. And the ones other people ship in more than 20 million urged updates every day. Better instructions for you, extra information for Google.


This tale at the beginning gave the impression on WIRED UK.

There are the reason why such a lot of other people use Google Maps: It’s arguably the perfect mapping provider to use and has essentially the most up-to-date information to be had. But it wouldn’t be a Google product if it didn’t acquire plenty of information about you. This will also be accumulated throughout the Maps app, but additionally the GPS location settings of the telephone that’s at all times to your pocket. As a end result, there’s so much Google is aware of about your whereabouts.

The extent of what Google is aware of will also be observed for your location timeline. All the little purple dots proven at the map expose the place you’ve been and when. For me, it presentations 461 puts that I visited ahead of I grew to become the site settings off originally of 2019. (The maximum not unusual: predictably, my house and WIRED’s London place of job.)

If you wish to have to flip off location information you’ll be able to do that via your Google account here. There also are choices to auto-delete long run location historical past each and every 3 or 18 months. This will prevent Google from accumulating information about your location while you’re now not the use of its products and services.

You might also need to flip off internet monitoring and task, as different Google products and services and merchandise can accumulate details about your location. “Location information is also stored as a part of task on Search and Maps when your Web & App Activity atmosphere is on, and incorporated to your footage relying for your digital camera app settings,” the corporate says.

Location information isn’t the same as the opposite varieties of information Google gathers about you: Using mapping products and services with out giving for free your location is lovely tricky. There’s something you’ll be able to do for your telephone to restrict how a lot information Google Maps gathers: restrict when Google Maps can get right of entry to your location. Through Android and iOS settings you’ll be able to restrict Maps’ skill to get right of entry to your location to when the app is in use, quite than all the time.

A in point of fact non-public maps provider doesn’t in reality exist for each and every platform. But there are different choices available in the market that don’t retailer and accumulate as a lot of your information or feed it again into a bigger profile of you. Here are the choices you need to imagine, and we’ve highlighted the place there is also attainable privateness trade-offs you will have to make.


OpenStreetMap is the Wikipedia of apps—it’s constructed by means of the individuals who use it and all of the data is open information, which means somebody can reuse the maps for anything else. It’s stored up to date by means of other people the use of GPS units, aerial pictures, and different unfastened assets of data. If you move someplace and the map isn’t proper, then you’ll be able to create an account and recommend adjustments.

There aren’t many fancy options, however it’ll provide you with instructions (by means of automotive, motorbike, or foot) and is administered by means of a nonprofit group. Its privateness coverage says some restricted information is accumulated however this isn’t linked to user profiles. You don’t have to log in to use it and there also are no advertisements of any kind.

OpenStreetMap is in large part web-based. It is optimized for smartphones, however there aren’t any respectable apps supplied by means of the OpenStreetMap Foundation. There are, then again, third-party apps that use its information. These generally tend to include trade-offs. Maps.Me has downloadable maps that can be utilized offline, but additionally has ads.


This mapping app is created the use of OpenStreetMap’s information however it additionally comes with a number of additional choices you’ll be able to use. These come with map downloads for offline use, shuttle guides, and ski maps.


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