Google Announces New Privacy Updates for Google Maps

Peter Roesler, President - Web Marketing Pros

By Peter Roesler

President, Web Marketing Pros

Location data is something that many smartphone users don’t spend too much time thinking about. Many consumers fall into one of two camps when it comes to any revelation about the ways location data is used. Some consumers shrug off any concerns related to location data because it’s a smartphone, of course, it knows where your phone is. On the other hand, some people are ever cautious about the way tech giants use their location data on all of us. Google Maps has announced some new changes that can address some of these privacy concerns by letting people access Google Maps in Incognito Mode and bulk delete options. 

In an announcement about the newest updates, Google began by telling consumers all the ways that they can control their Google Maps. According to Google, we’ve focused on making it easier to control, manage and delete your Location History information. The Location History is off by default, and users can choose to delete all or part of your history automatically when you turn it on. 

Google also noted that the company has auto-delete controls, so users can choose to keep only three or 18 months’ worth of data, with anything older than that will be automatically deleted. Your Data in Maps lets you quickly access your Location History and other privacy controls with just a few taps. And on Android, Incognito mode on Google Maps stops searches or places you navigate to within Maps from being saved to your Google Account.

One of the changes announced today is an expansion of the Incognito Mode for iOS. Incognito mode on iOS works the same way it does on Android. The places you search for or navigate to won’t be saved to your Google Account, and you won’t see personalized features within Maps, such as restaurant recommendations based on dining spots you’ve been to previously. 

Google is also adding a bulk timeline delete that removes Location History from your search history and prevents. With bulk delete, you can quickly find and delete multiple places from your Timeline and Location History all at once. Besides using the system to bulk delete entries, it’s possible to delete all or part of your Timeline by date range from your Location History settings. 

Google also mentioned their plan to make Location History more useful for marketers who want to use their data to get information. Users will be able to provide simple, easy-to-use tools to manage your Location History. This includes clearly explaining how it makes products more useful. 

For most marketers, these changes won’t affect the way people use their Google Maps. The added updates give people more control over their map history, but it’s unlikely for people to delete their entire map history. Google Maps can help you avoid the crowds by using aggregated and anonymized Location History information to show you wait times for restaurants and grocery stores, and when places tend to be the most crowded.

According to Google, “If you’ve chosen to turn Location History on, you’ll receive periodic email reminders that let you know what data you’re saving, and ways you can manage it.”

For more recent news about Google updates and changes, read this article on Google’s plan to increase delivery data to certain marketers.

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