There’s a Hidden Map on Your Phone That Shows Everywhere You’ve Been and the Photos You’ve Taken There

Like it or not, the big tech companies have a lot of data about you. Sure, you can change your permissions and settings, but sometimes there are settings for apps that you may not even know about, and by default, these apps are collecting a lot of information.

If you’re anything like us, you’re big fans of the app Google Photos. We love how easy it is to automatically upload and save all of the photos and videos we take on our phone by using this app, but what we didn’t know until recently was that Google Photos keeps track of a lot more than just our pictures.

If you have location tracking enabled, Google Photos keeps track of not only your pictures but exactly where they were taken. To see this data for yourself, open the Google Photos app and click “Search” at the bottom of the screen. Then under “Places” click “View All.”

The next screen will show you location groupings, and if you click on a location, you will see a map that shows all the places where you have taken photos.

You can also view your location information in the Google Maps app. Once you’re logged into your Google account, click on your profile picture in the top right corner and select “your timeline.” If you select “day” you will see all the places you visited today. If you select “places” you will see location groupings like “shopping” and “food & drink.” There is a map to go along with each of these location groupings to show you everywhere you have visited in that category.

In the Google Maps app you can also view a map that shows all the cities you have visited and even all the places you have visited in the entire world.

If a big tech company like Google keeping track of this kind of location data scares you, you can disable location tracking, but it’s easiest to do this on a computer. In the Google Photos app, click “settings,” scroll down to “sharing” and turn on “hide photo location data.”

In the Google Maps app, while you’re on your “timeline,” click on “manage location history.” You can turn “off” location history (turning the slider from blue to gray) to prevent Google from tracking future location data. In order to delete location data Google has already collected, you can also turn on the Auto-Delete feature. This feature gives you three auto-delete options besides the option not to delete anything. You can choose to auto-delete activity that is older than 3 months, 18 months or 36 months.

Did you know that Google kept track of so much location data about you? Are you going to disable location tracking from Google Photos and Google Maps?