Google Maps Now Shows Your Location History

In addition to “Googling” your name, you can now “Google” your locations on Google Maps.

Google Maps now offers its users a minute-by-minute personal timeline of their locations that lets people see exactly where they have been at the street level.

However, the new feature is only available to users who have agreed to share their location information with Google through their smartphone settings.

The new tracking feature is called “Your Timeline” and it is currently available through the Google Maps site and on Android smartphones. The feature lets you see the locations that you have been, plotted on a Google Map by date and time.

Google Maps Timeline
“Your Timeline” on Google Maps

Google says this new map tool is great for remembering the places you’ve visited and trips that you have been on.

For some people, this will be a cool new map feature; but for other people it is a warning about how much personal information Google knows about the people who use Google services.

The only person who can see your location history on Google Maps is you – and users have the option to delete certain locations, time periods or their entire location history if they want.

Users have the option of deleting their entire location history by clicking on the settings option in the lower-right hand corner of Your Timeline and choosing “Delete All Location History.”

To stop Google from tracking and recording your locations in the future, you need to go to My Account and choose  “Account History”, then disable the “Places You Go” item.

In addition to showing people their past locations, Google Maps will also let people view all of their geotagged pictures from Google Photos within the Google Maps app.

Although “Your Timeline” is considered a “private map” that is only visible to you when you are logged into Google Maps, it is important to remember that anyone who picks up your smartphone or uses your computer will be able to view your location history if you forget to log out of your Google account.

In addition, this is one more piece of your personal information that law enforcement officials will be able to obtain through a court order.

Some journalists have joked that “Your Timeline” gives you the ability to stalk yourself, but what is missing from this little bit of tech humor is just how much stalking Google is doing too.