The Google Maps Timeline feature is very useful for those who want to remember the places they visited on a given day or even remember a route they took. However, it can also become dangerous as it exposes privacy data.

Therefore, Google announced a significant change in the way it handles users’ location data. Instead of storing this data in the cloud, the company will soon store it locally on users’ devices. This change is part of a larger effort by the company to reinforce the privacy of its users’ data.

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You can still save old Timeline data

Google Maps Timeline, a feature that was previously known only as Location History, allows the user to access their Google account on any device and thus have access to all their trips and routes that are based on the location of the device. your smartphone device. This makes it possible to remember not only the places visited but even the paths taken.

Therefore, it can be very useful in different situations. For example, if you went to a store 3 months ago and don’t remember its name or how to get there again, just look up your trips on the day of your visit and that’s it.

Therefore, many users will prefer to keep this information saved. In this case, for those who want to keep all their Timeline data saved, the company has already started sending an email to users revealing that they have until December 1st of this year to save all their trips in one certain mobile device. After this period, they will start deleting the oldest data.

Local storage on devices

The big change is that, instead of saving all this location information directly to the Google account, now the application will save it locally on the user’s own device. This way, only those who have that device will have access to them, preventing anyone from discovering the password or hacking the user’s account from having access to this type of information.

This change was first announced in December 2023 as part of Google’s efforts to increase user privacy. The company had already started taking some measures to this end, such as excluding sensitive places such as abortion clinics, shelters for victims of domestic violence, weight loss centers and others from location history, in addition to updating Maps to prevent authorities access users’ location history.

This way, it will no longer be possible to access your Timeline via the web or through another device. If users don’t activate the new Timeline settings and save their data by December, Google will attempt to move all location information from the last 90 days to the first device that logs into the account after the deadline. Other data older than 90 days will be permanently deleted.

Ensuring Timeline saves older data


For those who already want to confirm that their older location data is being saved, it is possible to do this from their mobile device, in the Google Maps application.

Just click on your profile photo in the top right corner (if you don’t have a photo registered, you will have a green circle with the first letter of your name) and choose the Your Timeline option. Click “Location History is on” and confirm that the Auto-delete option is turned off. You can also choose to have Google automatically delete this data after 3, 18 or 36 months.

Fonte: The Verge,  Android Police


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