Wednesday September 19, 2018
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Google Admits of Tracking Users Even with Their Location “Turned off”

But just turning off Location History doesn't solve the purpose. In Google Settings, pausing "Web and App Activity" may do the trick

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Google clarifies tracking users even with location data turned off. Pixabay
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After facing criticism over reports that certain Google apps track users’ whereabouts even when they turn off location data, the tech giant has revised its Help Page, clarifying that it does track location data in order to “improve Google experience”.

Previously, the Help Page stated: “You can turn off Location History at any time. With Location History off, the places you go are no longer stored.”

The page now says: “This setting does not affect other location services on your device, like Google Location Services and Find My Device.

“Some location data may be saved as part of your activity on other services, like Search and Maps”.

The new language confirms that location data is, indeed, being tracked by some Google apps.

“We have been updating the explanatory language about Location History to make it more consistent and clear across our platforms and help centres,” CNET reported on Friday, quoting a Google spokesperson.

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Google on a smartphone device. Pixabay

The Associated Press earlier this week ran a story saying an investigation found that many Google services on Android devices and iPhones store users’ location data even if the users explicitly used a privacy setting forbidding that.

Researchers from Princeton University confirmed the findings.

In an earlier statement, Google had said: “Location History is a Google product that is entirely opt in, and users have the controls to edit, delete or turn it off at any time.

“As the (AP) story notes, we make sure Location History users know that when they disable the product, we continue to use location to improve the Google experience when they do things like perform a Google search or use Google for driving directions.”

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But just turning off Location History doesn’t solve the purpose. In Google Settings, pausing “Web and App Activity” may do the trick.

However, according to the information on Google’s Activity Control page, “Even when this setting is paused, Google may temporarily use information from recent searches in order to improve the quality of the active search session”. (IANS)

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Samsung And Internet Giant Google to Work Together For Advanced Messaging Service

This collaboration will help further the industry's momentum toward advanced messaging and global RCS coverage

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Samsung unveils premium home screen range in India. Flickr

Samsung Electronics Co. has said it is working with Internet giant Google Inc. to offer improved messaging experiences that would allow users to engage in group chats and video calls and transfer large files without the need for additional apps.

The collaboration will ensure that Android Messages and Samsung Messages will work together seamlessly, and it will boost coverage of Rich Communication Services (RCS), an upgrade to the SMS messaging system, Yonhap news agency reported.

The South Korean tech giant said it would work to bring RCS features to existing mobile phones beginning with the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus.

It also said its new Galaxy smartphones will natively support RCS messaging, starting with those on a set of carriers that have or will soon launch RCS.

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A Google logo is seen at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, VOA

“By furthering our robust partnership with Google, we will bring a richer messaging experience to our customers, letting them seamlessly chat with their friends and family across messaging platforms,” Patrick Chomet, Executive Vice President at Samsung’s Mobile Communications Business, said in comments posted on the website of Samsung Mobile Press on Wednesday.

“This collaboration will help further the industry’s momentum toward advanced messaging and global RCS coverage.”

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“Our partnership will further advance our shared vision of a substantially improved messaging experience on Android for users, brands and the broader Android ecosystem,” Anil Sabharwal, Vice President for Communications Products and Photos at Google, said.

The move comes at a time when many people are opting to use popular messaging apps, such as WhatsApp and WeChat instead of traditional SMS messaging. (IANS)