Google is providing 911 operators with more accurate location information from callers using Android phones. The company has partnered with T-Mobile and emergency technology companies RapidSOS and West to send location data from its Emergency Location Service to 911 call centers when an Android user places an emergency call. For T-Mobile customers, that information will be sent via the carrier and when call centers use RapidSOS, Google's location data will be sent through the emergency technology company. In the US Virgin Islands, Google has integrated this technology in partnership with West. Google tested this system earlier this year, sending its location data straight to 911 call centers when Android users called the emergency service.
When you turn off "location history" Google still tracks your location when you use several of its key services including Maps, search and the weather. Here's how to really turn all of it off. A report from the Associated Press has highlighted that the feature called location history is just one of the systems that Google uses to track your location for personalised services, local search and other purposes such as advertising. When you turn off location history, Google stops automatically recording your location for features such as the Maps timeline, but it warns you that "some location data may be saved as part of your activity on other Google services, like Search and Maps". When you perform a search, access Google Maps, or get the weather, either manually or automatically through a smartphone widget, Google will still log your location.
After the Associated Press reported that certain Google apps still track you even if you turned off location history, Google has changed its help pages and tried to clarify the issue. "We have been updating the explanatory language about Location History to make it more consistent and clear across our platforms and help centers," Google told the AP in a statement. The AP's investigation found that with Location History off, Google still stores your coordinates when you open Maps or even do searches, even if they're not related to where you are. After the report first surfaced, Google effectively denied there was a problem, saying "we provide clear descriptions of these tools." Google has now removed the misleading language on the Location History help page.
A privacy group says in a letter to Federal Trade Commission that Google has violated the terms of a 2011 settlement because of practices exposed in an Associated Press report this week. The Electronic Privacy Information Center says in the letter to the FTC that Google's recording of time-stamped location data -- even after users have turned off a setting called Location History -- 'clearly violates' the 2011 settlement. The center lobbied the FTC to take action on Google nearly a decade ago. Days after an Associated Press investigation revealed that Google is storing the locations of users even if they turn a privacy setting called'Location History' off, the company has changed a help page that erroneously described how the setting works That helped lead to the settlement in which Google agreed to a 20-year monitoring regime and vowed to not misrepresent the degree to which users have control over private data. Three days after the AP story was published Monday, Google altered a help page explanation but didn't change its tracking.
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