Google Maps Enhances Privacy with On-Device Location Storage

Google Maps is set to introduce significant changes to how it stores location data, focusing on enhancing user privacy. According to reports, Google Maps will soon allow devices to store location and timeline data locally rather than on Google Cloud. Additionally, the auto-delete feature will be configured to remove timeline data after three months, ensuring any data older than that is automatically deleted.

On-Device Maps Location Storage

A report by The Verge highlights that this initiative is part of Google’s broader efforts to bolster privacy measures. Users received an email notifying them that they have until December 1 to save their location information, such as visited places and trips, to their devices. Post this date, Google will begin deleting old data, including Location History, now referred to as Timeline. Google describes Timeline as a “personal map” that helps users remember routes and trips based on their Location History. Moving forward, all location data will be stored locally on the device rather than in the Google Cloud.

Privacy-Driven Initiative

This privacy-focused initiative was initially announced in December 2023. In a blog post, Google stated, “If you’re among the subset of users who have chosen to turn Location History on (it’s off by default), soon your Timeline will be saved right on your device — giving you even more control over your data. Just like before, you can delete all or part of your information at any time or disable the setting entirely.” This change aims to give users more control over their data while ensuring their location information remains private and secure.

How to Keep Using Timeline

To continue using the Timeline feature, users need to open Google Maps on their smartphone, tap the profile picture in the top-right corner, navigate to the Timeline section, and set the feature to On. Users can also choose how long they want Google to store their data, with options ranging from three months to three years. Alternatively, they can select the manual delete option to keep Timeline data until it is manually removed by the user.

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