Google Maps will no longer store your location history

Google Maps is rolling out another feature to protect the privacy of users. As per recent reports, Google is changing the way it handles users’ location data. Previously, the application stored the location history on Google’s servers, but after this change, all the location history will be saved on users’ devices. Google Maps has also renamed the location history feature to Timeline.

Google appears to be rolling out this feature gradually with some users. But the deadline is set for December 1, 2024.

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Google Maps’ Timeline data

The feature aims to protect the data of the users. It ensures that the location history, where the users have travelled to, will remain under their control. The users will not have to rely on cloud servers any more. Google will locally save all the location history data on your Android or iOS device, including whichever restaurant you have been to.

To further protect the data, Google offers end-to-end encrypted cloud backups for the Timeline in Maps. This ensures that only the user can access this backup, adding an extra layer of security.

The feature is only rolling out for the app users. The web version of the Timeline will not be available on the web. Users could access their location history through the web interface, but with this change, it will no longer be available on Maps for desktops. However, the feature will continue to work on Google Maps for Android and iOS. This means that the location data will no longer sync across devices.

Google Maps

How to save your Timeline data?

As the feature is still under the rolling process, it is possible that the Timeline data feature has not reached you yet. Google does not plan to make it a silent move, they will send an email and push notification from Google Maps when the feature is available to you.

The letter from Google, whether in the form of an email or push notification, the users will be prompted to migrate the existing location history to the device via an updated app button. If failed to do so, Google might delete some or all of your Timeline data as it phases out the web feature.

But what about when the user changes devices? Google has plans for that too. Google Maps will introduce a backup option to ensure that the users do not lose their data. The user can save encrypted copies of their location history on Google’s servers, which they can later restore when switching to a new phone.

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