Google Maps: how to see history and stop tracking

Did you know that Google Maps tracks all your movements? Just access the history of Google Maps to find out all the places you've visited

Would you like to know where you've been two years ago but your memory doesn't help you? No problem: just ask Google for the answer to your doubts. No, you don't have to go and search directly on the search engine par excellence, but you'll have to sift through the information that Big G stores in your personal profile.

As it is now well known, in fact, the search engine collects all kinds of data on users to create personal profiles that can be exploited for commercial and advertising purposes. Among these there are also the data of our movements, useful to Google to understand if we like more pizzerias or sushi restaurants or if we are used to move in a city rather than another. This data is of course accessible from Google Maps history, from which you can see what information has been collected about us.

How to see Google Maps history

To access the places visited on Google Maps you have to enter your Google Account, click on Manage your data and customization in the "Customize Google" pane; then in the Manage Activity pane click on the line Location history and Manage history. Alternatively, you can click directly on this link and access the same section.

In the screen that appears you'll see a portion of the Google Maps map that includes the vast majority (or all) of the movements that the Mountain View giant has recorded. From here you can access the history of Google Maps, simply by navigating through the various red dots on the map or by entering a specific date in the calendar at the top left.

The data for Google Maps history, in fact, are retrieved thanks to the GPS, GLONASS and Wi-Fi sensors of the smartphone, while in some occasions the algorithms of the Mountain View company may locate you thanks to the connection of the PC (provided you use Chrome and have synchronized with your Google Account) and the IP address used to connect.

How to stop Google's tracking

As you can imagine, tracking your location allows Google to know (almost) at any time where you are and to reconstruct what you're doing (if you stop for half an hour, an hour or a couple of hours in a restaurant it's likely that you're there for a drink or dinner) and who you're with (in this case Google will have to cross-reference the data with those of other people, but it doesn't take much for its algorithms). In short, a nice intrusion in your life and your privacy.

If you want, however, Google offers you the possibility to stop tracking and protect your privacy. From the Activity Management tab (see how to access it in the previous paragraph) click on the switch, moving it from the right to the left: a warning will ask you to confirm your choice to disable tracking and stop creating Google Maps history. In addition, by accessing the management of data collected by Google, you can also delete previous information, so that the Mountain View giant "forgets" your every move.