It's been a bad year for data privacy — though it might be more accurate to say it's been a bad year for blissful ignorance. User data privacy issues are suddenly erupting into the spotlight after bubbling under the surface for years. While Facebook provided the most scandal fodder so far this year, Google hasn't been immune. One issue that gained widespread attention was its misleading representation of how Location History tracking works. After changing the wording on its support page in August, the company has now once more edited the page, moving to a description that is technically correct, but slightly more vague than its original fix. Read More
Google's location-tracking practices endured a new wave of scrutiny at the start of this week thanks to an investigation by The Associated Press, which put some meat on the bones of suspicion many users have harbored for a while now. By week's end, Google updated some language on the help page for its Location History setting, though its tracking policies remain largely unintelligible for the everyday consumer. And to be clear, the company has not changed anything about how it actually tracks the location of its users. Read More
Gathering location data just became trickier for authorities. In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court has ruled that accessing a suspect's cell phone location history should require a warrant. The decision came at the end of Carpenter v. United States, the first case about location data the Supreme Court has ruled on. Read More
Google really wants the snapshots you take to have as much contextual information associated with them as possible. So much, in fact, the the Google Photos app can dip into your phone's location history (not just the GPS or other location data supplied by the camera app at the time of the shot) to tag it. At least one Android Police reader noticed that some of his photos had been amended with location data, despite the fact that he says he never turned the Save Location option on in the camera app. Read More
The app updates from the last week seem to be all about where you are, where you've been, and where you're going. It has only been a few days since Google Play services 7.8 began rolling out with a couple of location-related bits hidden inside, and now a new version of Maps is hitting the scene with a host of new features centered around our location history. We can now look back through the places we've visited, when we were last at certain spots, and the routes we've taken. Read More
Google Now is pretty amazing, and it just keeps getting better as Google finds new ways to expose knowledge from its massive data repository. It's hard not to become addicted to everything that Now can offer. But what if you just got your hands on Google's latest flagship phone, went through the setup process, and then discovered Google Now doesn't work? Not only have some Nexus 5 owners had this experience, a few of them have even seen Google Now stop working across all of their other devices.
The common symptoms seem to include sync errors with the Google account and consistent crashing when attempting to opt into Google Now on the device. Read More
It's not quite live yet, but Google would like you to know that Google Maps 6.10 is on its way to handsets by the end of the day. "What's new for me, the public transit user?" I hear you ask. Quite a bit, in fact! First off, Google has announced that it now has data on more than one million transit stops worldwide, spread throughout almost 500 cities. In an effort to make that information more usable, the Transit Lines map layer can now me narrowed down to a single method of transportation. Um. Yes please.
In addition, station pages will now show departure times, which lines serve the station, and how far to other platforms nearby. Read More