Google Is Probably Tracking Your Location Right Now—Here’s How to Stop That

iStock.com/pressureUA
iStock.com/pressureUA

When news broke that a tool called the Location History Visualizer could use Google data to create a heat map of all the places you’ve ever been, it was met with equal parts fascination and trepidation. Exactly how much does Google know about your travels and daily commute?

Unless you’ve specifically changed your location history settings, the tech giant probably knows just about everything. As Todd Haselton wrote for CNBC, Google knew when he arrived at his office—down to the exact minute—and also stored a copy of the photos he took at each location he visited.

This information is gathered and stored even when you’re not using Google Maps or another Google app. The company says this personal map is only visible to you, but if you’re uncomfortable with the concept of your whereabouts being digitized, there’s a way to disable Google’s location tracking feature.

Visit Google's Privacy Checkup page, then scroll to “Location History” and select “Manage Location History.” Next, scroll to the bottom of the page and select “Manage Location History” once again, then toggle the button to turn tracking off.

You can also delete past data by clicking “Delete all location history” under settings on the “Location History” map. But wait—that's not the final step: You’ll also need to visit your Google Activity Controls and turn “Web & Activity” off. After that, you’ll finally be off the grid.

Just keep in mind that “some Google apps may not work the same as they did before,” according to Google. The company uses location data to offer real-time traffic updates, personalized maps, and recommendations based on the places you’ve been.

[h/t CNBC]

Wednesday’s Best Amazon Deals Include Computer Monitors, Plant-Based Protein Powder, and Blu-ray Sets

Amazon
Amazon
As a recurring feature, our team combs the web and shares some amazing Amazon deals we’ve turned up. Here’s what caught our eye today, December 2. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers, including Amazon, and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Good luck deal hunting!

This All-in-One Storage Solution Can Be Used at Home or Carried on the Go

RUX/Indiegogo
RUX/Indiegogo

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Whether you're looking for a durable storage solution for your garage or a roomy pack for a long camping trip, the collapsible RUX carrier can help keep your stuff safe and secure without taking up much room in your closet when you're done. And until December 10, you can support the project on Indiegogo.

The main idea of the RUX is to serve multiple purposes at once. You can carry it around like a backpack or duffle bag during a weekend trip outdoors, or you can use it as a stationary storage bin for your car or home. Despite being strong enough to hold your bulkiest gear, it only weighs around four pounds and is designed to be collapsible, so you can fold it up and slip it away afterwards. (Unfolded, the RUX comes in at 15.7 by 19.5 by 13.8 inches.)

And if you're looking to use it during more serious outdoor adventures, you can rest assured that its weatherproof construction will keep your stuff dry in the rain. There's even a window that allows you to double-check that your items are safe and sound.

RUX/Indiegogo

The RUX was created with sustainability and longevity in mind. Not only does the RUX have a lifetime warranty, but each component can also come off and be replaced easily so you can continue using the product no matter the problem. RUX is a member of 1% For The Planet, which is a group that gives back 1 percent of sales to environmental causes, even if they are not profitable.

There is still time to back the RUX campaign and reap the rewards. If you back $196, you’ll get your first RUX along with it. However, if you back $265, you’ll get one RUX, two divider totes, an EDC pouch, and two utility straps. If you back $449, you’ll get all the same things from the second level along with an extra RUX. If you want to back $515 or $725, you’ll get double or triple everything, respectively, from the second level.

The RUX campaign ends on December 10, so there is still time to back this product through Indiegogo. Shipments of RUX will hopefully start by June 2021.

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