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Google Timeline

Creepy or Cool? Google Timeline Shows Where You’ve Been

Considering how crazy some people are about hitting a daily step count, remote locating services, it only felt about time that a phone could track every single move ever made.

Embedded deep down in the heart of Google Maps lies a cool feature—depending on perspective—called Timeline that gives users a snapshot of where they’ve been and when. Think of it as a creepy digital time capsule for your children so they can track your every past move when you’ve died. Hmm, feeling slightly less enthused about this as I write.

Like most Google products, users get the option to fine tune and customize their timeline if they are so inclined. Part of this includes being able to delete a time range.

I ain’t got nothing to hide.

Basically, if Location History is enabled, Google records location data and places in the account. To turn on or pause it, follow the steps below: On a computer, go to Timeline (must be signed in). Click SettingsEnable Location History or Pause Location History.

Menu inside Google Maps.

In terms of utility, it seems like an interesting function when you’re interested in tracking down a restaurant or place you can’t remember, with only a few vague memories surfacing from those deteriorating thirty-year-old memory banks. Oh, that’s where that Costco gas station was.

Our Timeline provided an interesting though incomplete snapshot, as it was missing a good portion of our travels before our Android days (and the technology that could track it) kicked in. It also was spread throughout my two Google accounts.

It was missing many trips to Asia and to the Middle East. Conventional wisdom surmises that Timeline is reliant on Google Trips for this information, but since those trips are actually in there, it’s anyone’s stab in the dark as to why that information isn’t there.

In other words, the Internet does not truly know everything about you. At least not yet.



[Google]

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