PSA: Google just activated on every account a feature that tracks your location (or approximate location) when and where you do every action. So it doesn't just record "Listened to Cher 17 times on November 29th" it also adds the PRECISE GPS coordinates of WHERE you listened to Cher 17 times.
I would advice going into your account activity settings and disabling this!
Disabling location on your phone isn't enough since as we know that doesn't actually stop google from tracking and it also can collect this information from web browsers (so it had the GPS coordinates of my job, for instance, even though location was disabled)
@shel thank you so much for this
really gets me steamed
@shel I wonder if one could spoof GPS coordinates without Google Location Services recording that they're spoofed
and a bluetooth connection to a speaker
and swarm their database with phones playing Believe over Bluetooth speakers 24/7 in Sergey Brin's office
@shel there are good alternatives for most of Google's services. Some of them are not as intuitive because they don't have top notch UX designers and for some you might have to pay a few bucks, but IMO it's worth it knowing they won't collect your private data. Look around! Regarding school/work that's a bummer. I'd create a separate account for each and provide as little information as possible, lock everything down, use fewest services possible.
two notes on the google PSA
1. "location sharing" and "location history" or two independent settings. The former was what i had turned off in the past and was still off but the latter seems to be new, turned itself on, and was still recording my location
2. Apparently it hasn't been switched on for each and everyone but it was for me and some others so go check anyway
@theycallmemo @shel Was turned off on my phone (Android 7, settings > location). The "learn more" takes you to a page with deletion instructions: https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/3118687
@shel To be more certain of your privacy I recommend installing microG if you have an Android phone. It's much improved my battery life and I've wanted to get rid of most Google Services. Only issues I've had so far is an inability to use the NBC Sports Gold app on my phone, and casting is unfortunately busted.
@shel I'm sad that there is no way to delete Location History. And one has to delete an entire day of Google use rather than individual uses (e.g. maps, search, YouTube)