Every Step You Take

Google’s watching you.

Go to https://maps.google.com/locationhistory/b/0/ while logged into any google app like g-mail. Turn back the calendar and follow your tracks anywhere your phone went on any given day.

You can also turn on timestamps for any given time after you left home with your phone turned on and Google maps active.

And you think Google doesn’t use this information, or that they wouldn’t give your geographic data points up in a heartbeat with the right kind of ‘national security’ claims?

This map shows our travels one day while in Mississippi last month.

Is this something the average user would ever find useful? Maybe. If you have teenagers, send them out with YOUR phone, then check where they went and when. Creepy.

You can turn this off. Thought you’d want to know.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. I tried Google’s tracking link that you gave, and found I seem to have NO location history. Perhaps there are advantages to not having a smart phone of any kind .

  2. Yep, thankfully The Google has not yet implanted GPS tracking devices in our dental fillings. Yet. ( GoogleGrinders? ) Only in the “smart” phones in our pockets and purses.

  3. I stopped using almost anything connected with Google a long time ago, exactly because of their history of tracking everything about you. I would not use gmail for anything and even dislike replying to mail sent from gmail accounts (sometimes that is unavoidable). I never use their browser as Startpage is much more secure. I do occasionally use Google Earth. Of course, these days these mega-corporations reach out so far they you don’t always know who owns what, so there is a change I am using their products without even knowing it.

  4. It’s a well hidden secret that Fragments From Floyd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Google Inc. So you are screwed Steve 😉

    Yeah – I turned the tracking off years ago. I have a love – hate relationship with Google. The tracking bothers me, but then Google Now proactively warns me that there is an accident on I-95 before I even get in the car. A lot of what they use the data for is downright useful.

  5. Oh YEAH~ Fragments have been assimilated. Sorry. Dave, close the blog bay doors. Dave?

    I checked interstate traffic as wife was leaving tis morning, and re-routed due to an accident from only moments earlier. Can’t live with’em, can’t live with’em. Tech overlords. Not wives! Certainly not wives!