Big change coming to Google Maps

Google is making major changes to Google Maps in response to concerns about the collection and use of personal data.

The tech giant first revealed last December that it was changing the Google Maps Timeline feature, which is “a personal map that helps you remember the routes and trips you’ve taken and the places you’ve been based on your location history.” .

My timeline goes back a few years and shows that I have visited places around the east coast of Australia and a few overseas countries.

It’s handy for remembering where you’ve been and calculating how far you’ve traveled. You can edit and delete on the timeline.

But things will change.

Australian Google users who have their location history turned on — a number likely in the millions because it’s on by default — will soon have their timeline data stored on their device rather than in the cloud.

Google says this will give people more control over their data. People will still retain the ability to delete information and disable the setting.

Under the changes, you can still choose to back up your data in the cloud, where it will be encrypted so that even Google can’t read it.

By default, Google will automatically delete location data after three months, up from the previous option of 18 months. The setting can be extended for longer and automatic deletion can be disabled.

Google will notify people when the update is rolled out to their account.

Transferring data to your device means you won’t be able to access it online. Unless you change your settings, Google will delete anything older than the last 90 days of travel history.

This means that users who want to save their older data should check their settings as soon as possible.

To do this, open Google Maps, click on your profile picture and select Your Timeline. You can choose to keep your data or select an automatic deletion setting. You can change your settings until December 1st, otherwise you risk data loss.

As part of the changes, people will also be able to delete activity associated with certain places.

Google explained it like this: “Let’s say you’re planning a surprise birthday party and get directions to a nearby bakery to pick up a cake. Soon, you’ll be able to see all your recent activity on Maps related to the bakery in one central place, and easily delete your searches, directions, visits and shares with just a few taps. The ability to delete location-related activity from Maps will begin rolling out to Android and iOS in the coming weeks.”

The “blue dot” that shows where you are on the map has also been changed.

As part of the update, tapping the blue dot will show your location history, timeline, and access settings.

Google says it’s committed to keeping user data “secure, private and under your control,” which is in line with the Australian Privacy Principles Privacy Act 1988.

As reported last year, the government is planning major changes to Australia’s privacy framework to align regulations with “global information privacy protection standards and adequately protect the privacy of Australians”.

The proposals include a move towards a stricter European Union approach to data privacy, such as “rights to object, request deletion and de-indexing of search results.”

The bill could go to parliament this year.

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