Is Google tracking your mobile apps without permission?

Yes Open maps and click on side option Timelines and you can see your movement Activity. If the timeline is off it will ask to show click yes then it will show your activity. It keep tracking no matter what if you keep timeline on it will show you If you keep timeline off it will store in servers. To reset maps go to app manager and clear all data from maps and open.

Google may have been tracking your mobile apps without permission. Google is facing a major lawsuit after allegedly continuing to track mobile app users even after they had opted out of sharing their data.

Of course yes, nowadays google even track what so say and conversate with your family or friends over phone.

On top of the basic information collected by your smartphone and beamed back (or not beamed back) to the company that made your handset, there’s all the information collected by the apps you run too—the data that gets recorded and saved is down to an individual app’s privacy policies and the permissions you give it.

If you want to know exactly what an app is allowed to track on your Android phone, open the Settings app then go to Apps & notifications, choose an app, and select Permissions. Over on iOS, launch the Settings app then pick an app to see the permissions it has. Most of these permiss

On top of the basic information collected by your smartphone and beamed back (or not beamed back) to the company that made your handset, there’s all the information collected by the apps you run too—the data that gets recorded and saved is down to an individual app’s privacy policies and the permissions you give it.

If you want to know exactly what an app is allowed to track on your Android phone, open the Settings app then go to Apps & notifications, choose an app, and select Permissions. Over on iOS, launch the Settings app then pick an app to see the permissions it has. Most of these permissions can be revoked with a toggle switch on both Android and iOS.

That tells you the specifics of the data an app can track on your phone, but to know exactly how that data is being used, you need to dig down into that app’s terms and conditions of use and privacy policy, if the app even .has one. Google recently said it would be cracking down on apps without user data policies, but you’re still largely at the mercy of app developers in terms of how your data gets used.

For example, you can read the Airbnb privacy policy here. Using the app on your phone? Airbnb can track your location, get information about the device you’re using, and log the times you use the app. This data is then used for everything from showing you Airbnb venues near your current location, to better targeting listings to you.

Even when you think you know what’s being tracked, it’s not always clear cut.

granting an app permission to see photos on your device also lets that app see where you’ve been, because all of your pictures have geotags on them by default. Even if you’re blocking an app from tracking your location, it can probably still work out where you live and where you go on holiday most often through your stored pictures. Of course, whether the app actually will harvest this data for whatever purpose is again up to the developer.

Just when you think you know what an app is and isn’t tracking, you find out that Uber was secretly recording iPhone screen activity, supposedly to improve functionality with the Apple Watch app. If you want to take Uber’s word for it, the feature was used to do the job of map rendering on the phone before transferring it to the wearable, but it’s another example of just how in the dark end users can be.

Head to the web in your mobile browser of choice and all the data we’ve previously talked about being collected online comes into play again here—your searches, the device you’re on, where in the world you are, and so on. There are two layers to the tracking: the data tracked by your browser app, and the data tracked by the sites you visit.

Again, that’s down to the apps and the services you’re choosing to use. Google Chrome, you might not be surprised to know, logs a ton of data, including your browsing history and thumbnails of the sites you visit, and of course if you sign in with Google too then all of your activity feeds back into your Google profile by default. Safari tracks a lot of the same data as well, though in line with Apple’s policies it keeps much of it saved locally on the device, and now includes tracking blocking tools for stopping advertisers from following your browsing behavior across the web.

Taking back control

As you can probably tell, getting a handle on exactly what data is collected, and then how that data might be used or passed on to third-parties, isn’t easy—these policies are couched in ambiguity to give the manufacturers plenty of leeway. Samsung, for instance, as per its policy, might collect GPS information from your phone, might pass your voice searches on to a third party for speech-to-text conversions, and might share all this data with business partners who might use it to advertise to you.

That’s a lot of mights and maybes. Ultimately, if you don’t like the deal, you don’t use the phone. But there are certain settings on your handset you can use to block devices and individual apps from harvesting as much data as they’d perhaps like to.

Location tracking is a big one—very valuable to both end users and advertisers alike. On (stock) Android you can disable location tracking on the device as a whole by opening Settings, then tapping Security & location and Location, and then turning tracking off. On iOS, open Settings, then go to Privacy and Location services, and disable the feature. From the same menus you can turn off or limit location tracking on an app-by-app basis.

We’ve already spoken about editing individual app permissions, either through the Apps & permissions menu in Android Settings, or by tapping on an app name in iOS Settings. Most of these permissions are self-explanatory, such as access to your calendars and contacts, but you can also control whether or not apps can pull data from the motion sensors in your phone (for counting steps and so on)—this is labelled Body sensors.As far as Google is concerned, you’ve got a whole host of options to manage, covering Google’s apps on Android, iOS, and everywhere else. If you open up (Google account page) , then pick Personal info & privacy, it’s possible to change the way data is collected (Activity Controls) or erase some of the data Google already has on you ( My Activity). For instance, you can see and erase all the voice searches that you’ve run through Google Assistant on your phone.Individual apps may have specific settings and privacy options you can take advantage of, though most won’t, and few app developers will be as interested in collecting data about you as Google. FB is one exception, and we’ve written before about how they follows you across your devices and how you can limit this to some extent.

In the end your smartphone use is helping to build up a picture of who you are and the kind of advertising you’re interested in for companies like Google, Facebook, and others—even if an app isn’t part of a massive advertising network, it may well sell its data to one. Apple stands apart in this regard, keeping the data it tracks for its own use and largely on a single device, though of course the apps that run on iOS have more freedom to do what they want.

Even if you’re reasonably content to put up with some monitoring on Android and iOS, it’s important to know what kind of data you’re giving up every time you switch your smartphone on. Whether it means you uninstall a few social media tools, or disable location tracking for a few apps, it gives you some semblance of control over your privacy.

Even having removed permissions from the well known app, we’ve found that it’s listening to our conversations, feeding us ads for things we said in person and not once ever online within 48 hours of us saying it near the phone; we even started saying things intentionally to see if it would cue ads, and it did. Apps that pernicious need to be under heavier control, what user data apps like that collect and use needs to be far more transparent and controllable. I won’t put it on my phone, and it’s the first app I delete on any new phone now.

Patterns… and lots of data science… (/me grabs tinfoil hat)

People’s behavior is actually incredibly predictable. Given a few data points you can make a large number assumptions based on patterned behaviors, a thorough analysis of individual behavior in a group can lead to a strong predictive capability. From this you can make models with a relatively high degree of confidence.

Once you have this model you can adjust it based on minor data points gathered from a variety of methods, such as the individuals group of known associates who have willingly opted in to have their data tracked.

Highly acc

Patterns… and lots of data science… (/me grabs tinfoil hat)

People’s behavior is actually incredibly predictable. Given a few data points you can make a large number assumptions based on patterned behaviors, a thorough analysis of individual behavior in a group can lead to a strong predictive capability. From this you can make models with a relatively high degree of confidence.

Once you have this model you can adjust it based on minor data points gathered from a variety of methods, such as the individuals group of known associates who have willingly opted in to have their data tracked.

Highly accurate predictive models can be created from the cornucopia of data points that can be scraped from seemingly innocuous information, such as which ads you click on, how long you spend reading a particular article, data inside cookies from other websites you’ve visited, even where you move your mouse around and what comments you’ve made in other sites, how long you hover your mouse over particular parts of a web page, and so on and so forth.

By understanding group behaviors you can understand the individuals behavior. Using these techniques can allow a company that has data on a large group of people to effectively track a single persons actions simply through inference. Furthermore it can allow them to determine not only what you’re currently doing, but what you’re going to do before you even know it yourself.

Taken a step further they can not only track and predict, but they can influence your behavior through targeted advertisement, and simple cognitive bias.

With modern technology everyone has effectively knowingly opted to share a constant feed of data about their every activity for “free” services, such as email.

Consider the vast number of free services offered and consumed by nearly the entirety of the worlds population. Facebook has nearly 2 and a half billion active users of the worlds total population of nearly 8 billion. That’s nearly a third of the worlds population that’s knowingly given over an extremely detailed account of their daily lives. What you like, dislike, how you feel about every little thing, who you know and how you know them, and all of the relationships there and in between.

Even if you only had a Facebook account and never did a single thing on it other than accepted friend invites and nothing else, they could take a reasonably good guess about your views on virtually any topic simply through graph search and analysis.

As a whole we hardly have the level of engagement in politics that we do with social media in general, even if you were simply to take the percentage of Americans who regularly use Facebook versus the percentage of eligible voters who vote you’d see a landslide victory for Facebook, let alone google.

I suppose this is a very dystopian, Orwell inspired view and commentary, but we’re on the razors edge at the moment with globe spanning corporations that effectively have more power than most governments and far less control by the public who’s only control is market pressure and self regulation.

A single individual could abuse the system we’ve put in place to the detriment of society as a whole, and if history is any indicator, this level of power and control corrupts absolutely.

So data sciences and our own trail of digital footprints is how a company, such as google, could track you without you ever knowing.

Anecdotally this is also the answer to why advertisements pop up almost magically when you’re discussing something and haven’t actually done anything online related to what you were discussing.

As a foot note, here’s an excerpt of a paper that discusses behavioral analysis for use in assisted care living for the elderly, a totally innocent research paper with good intentions, but it drives home the fact that this type of research is being performed almost unilaterally, it’s not just a crack pot theory, it’s a matter of fact.

Graph-based representation of behavior in detection and prediction of daily living activities

Remember,
Your android phone is connected singed in via your Google account

So, When some knows your Gmail account password, he/she can install apps on your phone without your permission.
It will happen once you get your android device connected to the Internet.
App will get installed without your permission!!

I'll explain,
So from your desktop login to your Gmail account and open PlayStore
from there , you can access PlayStore from your computer signed in via your Google account,
What will happen if you click install a particular app?
This app will not get downloaded in your computer rather it

Remember,
Your android phone is connected singed in via your Google account

So, When some knows your Gmail account password, he/she can install apps on your phone without your permission.
It will happen once you get your android device connected to the Internet.
App will get installed without your permission!!

I'll explain,
So from your desktop login to your Gmail account and open PlayStore
from there , you can access PlayStore from your computer signed in via your Google account,
What will happen if you click install a particular app?
This app will not get downloaded in your computer rather it will be sent to your phone,
When you connect you phone to internet, this app will be installed automatically.
So that is the reason your phone keeps installing apps without your permission.

You can avoid this by changing your Gmail account password related to your android device.
Or
You can use a different Google account for your device to keep it personal and secured from others.

Advertisement is also a reason, if the user has clicked some advertisement while browsing, any third party advertisers like we get in games( Banner ad, video ad)
App may be installed in your phone.

Updating is different from installing if your apps are updated automatically,turn off auto update app feature in PlayStore.

Hope this was useful.

Edit

Chandra Sekhar,

Thanks for your comment.

Please ensure that you have done the following steps.

  1. Take a complete backup of all your data in your mobile including contacts, songs, videos photos. (Don't backup apps or games) after that do a complete factory reset.
  2. Create a new Google account for you. You might already have one account since you say it's been compromised it's not safe to use your old Gmail account if your phone has been hacked.
  3. While setting up your device login with your new Gmail account and transfer your contacts, music, videos and photos to your device.
  4. Before installing any applications or games, please check the apps running already in your device, you can find this under settings→apps & notification. I believe there won't be any unusual app activity since your device is factory reset. Go through all the running apps installed and check if there's any app consuming RAM or battery or been running for long time. (You can check this in battery usage also where it will show which app consumed how much battery).
  5. Important point: Make sure you don't allow apps to install from unknown sources (except Google Play store).
  6. Once you have done this, download apps and games from Google Play Store to your device. Turn off auto update of apps in Google Play Store.
  7. You can install all security updates and system updates which google sends you everytime it's completely safe it's actually good to have latest security update installed.
  8. Check for apps permission this is very important, when you have installed apps you again go to settings→apps and notifications, from there click on each app and see what are all the permissions granted for each app. You can even revoke app permissions and I recommend you doing so.
  9. Finally, even apps have permission to install another unknown apps without our knowledge or permission. (We have to make sure we turn off this so that we don't let some random apps get installed in our device when clicking on any ads in the internet)

To track someone's location on Instagram, open the Instagram IP Address Finder and enter the username of the person to their IP address. Next tap on the track button to check the location in real-time. There is a high chance the user is in the same location as their mobile. IP tracking on Instagram is possible.

How to get IP address from Instagram account:

  • Go to the profile of the person whose IP you want to know.
  • Click on the three dots next to their username.
  • Copy their profile URL.
  • Go to Grabify IP Logger, IP Logger or similar websites.
  • Paste the link into the bar and click on ‘Create URL’. When

To track someone's location on Instagram, open the Instagram IP Address Finder and enter the username of the person to their IP address. Next tap on the track button to check the location in real-time. There is a high chance the user is in the same location as their mobile. IP tracking on Instagram is possible.

How to get IP address from Instagram account:

  • Go to the profile of the person whose IP you want to know.
  • Click on the three dots next to their username.
  • Copy their profile URL.
  • Go to Grabify IP Logger, IP Logger or similar websites.
  • Paste the link into the bar and click on ‘Create URL’. When the results page opens, you will see a new link generated.
  • Optional: If the new link is too long, make sure you shorten it with Google URL Shortener.
  • Chat with the person for some time and send them (the shortened) link. It would be wise to tell them that you want them to see a great picture or read a wonderful story on this link.
  • When they click on it, refresh the page in the logger website you used and you will get the person’s IP address at the bottom of the page.
  • If you use Facebook or Instagram to chat with the person, you might need to switch on the ‘Hide Bots’ option in order to get their genuine IP.

Actually, we normally give Google our consent when we first download the app. Almost none of us even read the terms and condition before tapping on “Yes, I agree to the terms and conditions” Once we consent to Google’s terms and conditions once, it means that we have allowed Google to track our location (to improve our so-called experience) So, we can’t really blame Google for what we have inflicted on ourselves.

Actually, when it comes to location privacy, Apple has actually done a marvelous job. You can simply choose to allow any app to track your location once, always or only when you’re in

Actually, we normally give Google our consent when we first download the app. Almost none of us even read the terms and condition before tapping on “Yes, I agree to the terms and conditions” Once we consent to Google’s terms and conditions once, it means that we have allowed Google to track our location (to improve our so-called experience) So, we can’t really blame Google for what we have inflicted on ourselves.

Actually, when it comes to location privacy, Apple has actually done a marvelous job. You can simply choose to allow any app to track your location once, always or only when you’re in the app. While Android may not have such feature, you can still turn the location off app wise by going into settings or keep it off manually.

Of course

We all leave larger digital footprints than we think and a lot of the services we use gather our phones number. If I wanted to find someone by their phone number and first name, I would use Facebook. This obviously assumes that the person you are searching for has a Facebook but I do not think it is an unreasonable assumption. If you search in the Facebook search bar by phone number, it will tell you if that phone number is linked to any accounts. From there, compare the account to the first name that you know and if they match then you have probably found your person.

You can also Goo

Of course

We all leave larger digital footprints than we think and a lot of the services we use gather our phones number. If I wanted to find someone by their phone number and first name, I would use Facebook. This obviously assumes that the person you are searching for has a Facebook but I do not think it is an unreasonable assumption. If you search in the Facebook search bar by phone number, it will tell you if that phone number is linked to any accounts. From there, compare the account to the first name that you know and if they match then you have probably found your person.

You can also Google their first name and their phone number and if they have a professional resume or portfolio up then you may find it that way.

Finally, I would check reverse phone number look up. These services catalogue the names on the account that have a particular phone number, but be wary because these services can comes times be expensive.

I wrote the Docs/Drive access control code that was in use until a few years ago. I understand that the current version builds on my code and changes it where requirements have changed, but is otherwise similar.

The answer is: not directly, no. The ACL logic is simple and very well tested. But indirectly, maybe. If you hack an account. If you convince the owner or an editor who can reshare to grant access via a link or to make the doc public…

However, two factor auth will cut short most/all credential attacks. If the doc is owned by an enterprise account, the admin can shut down most accidental

I wrote the Docs/Drive access control code that was in use until a few years ago. I understand that the current version builds on my code and changes it where requirements have changed, but is otherwise similar.

The answer is: not directly, no. The ACL logic is simple and very well tested. But indirectly, maybe. If you hack an account. If you convince the owner or an editor who can reshare to grant access via a link or to make the doc public…

However, two factor auth will cut short most/all credential attacks. If the doc is owned by an enterprise account, the admin can shut down most accidental open access by policy and can also require two factor auth, making it very, very difficult to do what you're asking about.

The same way Amazon knows what you have looked at on the internet when you are not logged in to Amazon. They actually track the GPS on your phone or they buy the information from others. There are a couple of problems here. First you would have to prove that you are being tracked. Second, you would have to prove that you were damaged by the tracking. And a third one is if you have enough money to sue them for an extended court battle with little chance of recovering any substantial amount of money.

It really depends on what you want to achieve. If you are trying to track location to share with family and friends, there are many location tracker apps to choose from in both app stores. Below link takes you to the location tracker apps in Google Play store.

Location tracker apps in Google Play store

Google allows you to turn on location tracking and location sharing on your mobile phone. You can even view your location history / timeline in Google Maps.

If you are a developer (like me) looking to track own location, in coarse or fine resolution, and retrieve your location history, you can try

It really depends on what you want to achieve. If you are trying to track location to share with family and friends, there are many location tracker apps to choose from in both app stores. Below link takes you to the location tracker apps in Google Play store.

Location tracker apps in Google Play store

Google allows you to turn on location tracking and location sharing on your mobile phone. You can even view your location history / timeline in Google Maps.

If you are a developer (like me) looking to track own location, in coarse or fine resolution, and retrieve your location history, you can try the Moments Reference App from LotaData. This app is the companion to LotaData’s Moments SDK, a lightweight energy efficient framework for capturing geo-location data from mobile apps, with user content and full privacy compliance.

Disclosure: I work at LotaData