You might not even know it, but your phone has been keeping a comprehensive list of everywhere you have gone with it. Whether you use iOS or Android, handsets have ways of watching where their owners are going and keeping a record of all of that information.
The data can be a very useful way of reminding yourself where you have been or when exactly you went on a certain trip. It also allows the phones to tell you useful information by knowing where you tend to go and on what days. But it can also be a strange way of remembering just how much information some technology companies store about your life.
Google has perhaps the neatest way of looking at all of that information on its ‘Your Timeline’ page, which used to be known as Location History. You can head there and see a map of everywhere you have been with your phone.
On that same page you can opt to enable the tool if it is not already turned on, or to pause it. If you are on Android, then the tracking feature can happen using just the phone. On iOS it needs an app – the Google app, for instance, can track your location and send it to Google while it sits in the background.
Google also makes it easy to turn off location information, and to delete either everything or specific parts of the information that it has stored. To turn the whole thing off, you can head to your Google account and turn the ‘Location History’ switch off. Since you are doing that at the account level, it will change whatever device has been tracking you.
To delete it, you head to the location history page above and select either a day or location and opt to delete that history. Otherwise you can pick the ‘Delete all history’ option to get rid of the entire thing.
Like Google, Apple uses your location information to understand more about what you do. It will be able to tell if you tend to drive home at a certain time each day, for instance, and suggest that traffic is looking bad if it is.