The modern era is dominated by tech giants that make money through harvesting our personal data and selling it to advertisers for profit. Consequently, one of the big issues of this day and age is privacy. It is in the tech giants’ financial interest to encroach on our privacy, which means it is an uphill battle for us, the little guys, to hold on to whatever scraps of privacy we want to keep.
One of the biggest apps out there that draws criticism from privacy advocates is Google Maps. The app takes all your location data sends and it back to Google HQ. If the idea of a tech giant knowing your every move is a little sinister to you, you’ll happy to hear about an update that could be coming to Google Maps very soon.
Google Maps update could add an “automatically delete location history” feature
According to 9to5Google, the code to the recent Google Maps beta version update contains something very interesting indeed. It looks like the internet giant is testing out a feature that will automatically delete a user’s location history. This would mean a user could protect their privacy without having to go into the Google Maps menu and delete their location history every time they’ve been somewhere.
The new beta version of Google Maps is available on the Play Store, but it is still very much in the testing phase. At this point, there is not even a guarantee that the feature will even make its way onto the full version of the app. With the EU recently stepping up efforts to protect user data and showing a propensity for handing out huge fines there is now a financial incentive for Google to think more clearly about the privacy of the users of Google products.
On top of the financial incentive represented by the huge stick the EU is willing to yield, it is becoming more and more clear that the public is more switched on about privacy issues. With Facebook going through privacy scandal after privacy scandal, mobile app developers intent on taking as much of our private data as they can, and the true value of user data becoming more and more apparent everyday internet users are much less likely to feel comfortable handing over our data than we would have been in the past.
It is good news then that Google is testing a feature that will make it much easier to stop the tech giant from automatically recording all of our location data. Unfortunately, however, there is still no word about when all Google Maps users will get access to this feature. If you want to try the feature right now, you can become a Google Maps beta tester.