Google Maps to Store Location History on Users' Devices Soon

Google Maps to Store Location History on Users Devices Soon

Google Maps will soon store all location history on user devices, enhancing privacy and data protection.

Google Maps is introducing a major privacy enhancement by changing how it handles users’ location data. By December 1, 2024, the app will save all location history on users’ devices instead of Google’s servers, ensuring that users have greater control over their data. This change also comes with a rebranding of the location history feature to "Timeline."

Currently, Google is gradually rolling out this update, with the goal of having it fully implemented by the end of 2024. The primary aim of this feature is to protect users' data, ensuring that details of their travels and visited locations remain under their control. Previously, location history was stored in the cloud, but the new system will keep this data locally on Android and iOS devices, including specific visits such as restaurants.

To further enhance security, Google offers end-to-end encrypted cloud backups for the Timeline feature. This means that users can back up their location data securely, with only the user having access to these encrypted backups, providing an additional layer of protection.

This new feature is exclusive to the mobile app versions of Google Maps. The web version will not support the updated Timeline feature, meaning users will no longer be able to access their location history through the desktop interface. Instead, all location data management and access will be confined to the Google Maps app on mobile devices. Consequently, location data will not sync across multiple devices under this new system.

As the update is rolled out, Google will notify users via email and push notifications from Google Maps when the feature becomes available to them. These notifications will prompt users to migrate their existing location history to their devices through an updated app button. Users are encouraged to act on these prompts, as failing to migrate their data could result in some or all of their Timeline data being deleted when the web feature is phased out.

Google has also addressed concerns about data retention when users switch devices. Google Maps will introduce a backup option that allows users to save encrypted copies of their location history on Google’s servers. This backup can then be restored when users move to a new phone, ensuring that their location data is not lost in the transition.

Overall, this update to Google Maps underscores the company’s commitment to enhancing user privacy and data security. By moving location history storage to local devices and providing encrypted backup options, Google is empowering users to have greater control over their personal information while maintaining the convenience and functionality of the Google Maps app.

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