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How to Turn Off Google Location Awareness on Android Mobile

Google is always finding news ways to enhance your mobile experience using its location tracking on Android. With Google Now, location is used more than ever. Google has outlined in its privacy policy that all of your collected location information is anonymized, but it’s still up to you whether to trust them or not. After all, if you’re signed in with a Google account, it would be incredibly easy for Google to tie location information to it. If you decide you don’t want Google knowing where your phone is 24/7, it’s easy to disable location access. Let’s take a look at that now.

On an Android phone open the System Settings by using the menu button on your phone from the home screen, or by launching the Settings app from the app drawer.

In the settings window scroll down to Personal >> Location access and tap it.

android system settingsgoogle location settings

Now there are a few choices:

  • Turn location access off completely.
    • Unfortunately this disables GPS and navigation, so this won’t work for most people.
  • Disable Google’s location service, but keep GPS enabled
  • Disable GPS but keep Google’s location service on (Why would you do this!!??)

location access

If you toggle “Access to my location” off and then back on, you’ll be presented with a Location consent window. This location consent option isn’t anything special. It turns Wi-Fi & Mobile network location feature on or off. Location consent and Wi-FI & mobile network location are the same thing.

android location consentgoogle access to my location

That covers Google Android location tracking feature. I’d be curious to hear what some of you groovyReaders think about this type of thing. Do you care Google knows more and more about you or have you come to grips with that’s just the world we live in.?.?

Related Article:  groovyPost Weekly Wrap: March 10, 2012

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4 Responses to How to Turn Off Google Location Awareness on Android Mobile

  1. portnoy December 1, 2013 at 6:00 pm #

    The collection of my location data – theoretically ‘anonymous’, though as the AOL search data release showed the slightest bit of context can un-anonymize anything – doesn’t bother me at all… this is becoming more prevalent in all walks of life (loyalty cards, club cards, FB/Pinterest/Tumblr widgets on every webpage) and if there is a ‘They’ and ‘They’ want to get you, you’re going to get got.

    But I often turn off GPS when I don’t need it, to save battery power, and e.v.e.r.y..t.i.m.e I turn it back on a popup asks me if this anonymous location thing can be turned on. This, like all settings, should be an opt-in/out, set-it-and-forget-it deal, but it asks every single time… doubling the hassle of turning GPS on and off. This, and other senseless wastes of my time and energy, bugs me a lot more than the collection of anonymous data.

    • Painless February 24, 2014 at 10:24 am #

      hmmm, yes I agree.

      However, some of us don’t want to be “got”, what I mean is, we need to ensure we do all we can to avoid the ball & chains of the corporates (food, health, education, power) and the banks that own them.

      It is the banks that control the world and steer government and all of us through smoke screens – YOUVE BEEN “GOT”

      If we lose our voice they will just continue to walk all of the small people (who don’t have money and power) and in the end we are left in a world where we will be told what we have on our phones together with compulsory tracking rules on the likes of GPS enforced by the banks and corporates……..

      Today we have so little anonymity left we need to hold onto what little we have left……..

      I’m sure we’d all agree we don’t want to be tracked like some think from FedEx

      Don’t you think?

  2. Dan w April 10, 2015 at 7:58 pm #

    Bad news… they don’t even need you to attach your email account, or anything else.

    One of the things the location service does, is sends pings to google, informing them of every move your phone makes. all they really need to do to make it undo their ‘anonymized’ data is store it. a few days would be enough. Then, it’s a simple matter of looking at patterns. At night, the phone hangs out at 1234 SomeWhere Drive for eight or more hours.This identifies you down to the household. and yes. they do have that information.

    next, they look where you go for the bulk of the day. presumably you work there. lets say 5678 Pay Check Lane. It’s probable that you’re the only person from your household working there. If not, they look at other locations. the gym. the grocery store. the fast food restaurants you like. the places you go for entertainment. Not that the nifty gmail account every android phone is attached to doesn’t make it easy. or your FB/twitter/whatever.

    if google were a single individual, he’d be locked up for general creepiness. Probably with a string of consecutive sentences that would insure that individual was in prison until the sun exploded. Most states do, after all, have laws against that level of stalking.

    So yes. It does scare me. A lot. I don’t mind the government doing it so much, honestly. I live a pretty boring life. If harm is brought to me because the government spied on my, I get a pretty hefty lawsuit. I have recourse, and presumably, there’s the whole warrant stuff, even if they’ve trashed that system pretty thoroughly.

    But I have people that have threatened me. People who have threatened my family. So yes. it scares me. Because it’s not just considered acceptable to track me (and provide that information, supposedly anyonomously, to anybody who wants it). I’m considered nuts because I see a problem with that.

    Oh, and one last thing. the reason disabling the location service is not a one-and-done type of setting is because google uses their location service for things like monitoring traffic flow for the traffic alerts of their Maps app/webservice, and because they make money off all those nifty location-aware ads you get. They know, that eventually you’ll get annoyed enough to just go ahead and give them consent to creep on you.

  3. MePirate February 26, 2016 at 12:13 pm #

    I’ve been trying to find a way to permanently disable google’s location tracking on my phone. Maybe I was naive, but it really surprised me that this couldn’t be done. WTF Google?

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