Privacy is one of the most expensive goods in this digital age. Virtually any electronic device has the ability to collect information about us and our behavior. For example, Google has Sensorvault which is a database in which your location history is stored and which can be used by the police to see the phones that have been found near the place of a crime or crime at a specific time. . Google is the only company with a database of this type, and this can cause innocent people to be involved in crimes in which they have had nothing to do.
Related: How to clear the location history of your Google account.
Apparently Sensorvault thrives on the information stored in the location history. This location history is incorporated into Android devices and can also be part of some Google applications for iOS devices such as iPhone. This function is not enabled by default, however it is very likely that at some point you have been asked about its activation and therefore you may have already activated it.
If you have location history enabled, Google stores a Chronology (timeline) of your movements and positions thanks to the use of the GPS on your smartphone and / or the location information on your computer. All this information will be stored and available in your Google user account. From here you will be able to see your trips or journeys of a certain day again.
Using this location history allows Google to use this information to better tailor search results and recommendations for the user of that device. Google collects the data that the location history has provided in a database called “Sensorvault”. Google states that it does not share this information with advertisers or other companies, however, the authorities can consult this database by means of a court order.
Google says that this database was not created for police purposes, but what is true is that the police access it to preserve compliance with the law. While Google collects other location data, Google claims that only the location data of the function “Location history“are stored in Sensorvault and that other location data is stored in a different database.
The truth is that the activation or deactivation of the location history is something that does not affect the use of applications such as Google Maps and other Google services; the only effect will be that the service will be a little less personalized after the location history is disabled.
For now, it appears that Google’s location history is the only service that could be used by law enforcement to track or identify people at a specific time and place. If you do not want this to happen, we recommend that you follow the steps shown below:
How to Delete Sensorvault Location Data
Only data associated with Google’s location history feature appears in the database Sensorvault. This means that if you don’t use location history, you don’t have to worry.
On an iPhone, your device will not send this location history data to Google unless you have installed Google applications, such as Google Maps, and have also activated the location history function, which is quite common.
To check if location history is enabled, go to Activity History page on the official Google website and sign in with the same Google account that you use on your mobile device. Here you must locate the “Location History” section in which you will have to click on the down arrow to show the devices that send information to the history.
Here you will need to disable the Location History switch. This will prevent the collection of your location and its submission to the database Sensorvault.
If you are not on a computer, you can also disable location history from your Android phone. On Android, you can go to Settings> Google> Google Account> Location> Location History.
As mentioned, to completely disable location history, turn off the switch next to “Location history.” This will “Pause” the collection of location history information from all your devices where you use the same Google account. However, the data already collected will continue to be stored in your Google account and can be viewed whenever you want.
To delete the data already collected, you must go to the Official Timeline page. This interface will also show you all the historical location data that has been shared with Google as well as its display on a map. Google introduced the location history feature in 2009, so you can find data from the last decade. Google keeps your location history forever, if you don’t actively delete them.
To delete the location history data, you will have to click on the gear icon in the lower right corner of the page and select the option: Delete all location history.
Remember to repeat this tutorial with each and every Google account used so that the location history stops collecting your location.
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