Google Now

If you've got a Jelly Bean device -- say a shiny new Nexus 4 -- and open up Google Now today, you'll likely be greeted with a notice about Google's location policy. The notice reminds users that Google does keep location history in order to serve location-relevant information (like traffic and walking stats), and prompts to be granted additional access to this data. This looks to be related to those "distance walked and ran" cards users saw a while back.

Even though you're reminded of this whenever signing into a new device or starting Google Now for the first time, we don't think it's a bad idea for Google to remind users of the data being collected.

More: Google Nexus 4 Forums


Reader comments

Google Now making it clear that it is keeping location data


Personally, I haven't noticed battery or significant data usage, but I also haven't been doing much traveling.

Exactly, who cares??? Seriously, we all have Gmail email accounts, so you think all of a sudden Google Now is the deal breaker that Google never has had access to ALL your emails/location/etc and other Google integrated products? Sheesh..

It is a very slippery slope. Just because a company has X amount of data about you doesn't mean that it is automatically ok to supply even more. One day you might wake up and realize that not only does more data = more danger, computers don't "forget".

Being totally cavalier about data privacy and security is just foolish. Being concerned doesn't mean being paranoid or wearing a "tin foil hat".


As of this point in time, I don't get enough benefit from NOW to warrant letting Google collect where I am all the time. It benefits them more than it helps me.
If I commuted thru traffic every morning, I might be more interested in the projections it gives.

Just having this stuff being collected means there is yet another source of data, not just for Google, but anyone who can write up something approximating a warrant.

This data could put you at the scene of a crime you didn't even know happened, (or perhaps exonerate you).

Before I turn that on, I need to see a use case that will make it worth it to me.

How bout they pay me for that data?

What we rally should worry about is that police officers want a bill passed in congress that'll force carriers to keep and store every text message we receive or send for 2 years, "in case" they need to access them for any reason they deem necessary. I'm surprised AC hasn't written about this.

Write now the top 4 carriers don't store text for that long, ATT T-Mo and Sprint store texts for a few days to a week, but Verizon keeps your texts stored for 3 months all on their own. If they are required to store all our text data for hundreds of millions, per the request of the police in a law, that'll require a lot of servers and data storage which I'm sure the carriers will pass the billing onto customers as well as losing our privacy.

How much data does google now use? Going to lose my unlimited data when I upgrade and want to know if this uses a ton a data every month by running in the background?

Yep, I agree. Obviously written by someone who has no knowledge that you can save an enormous amount of your data plan simply by using your wi-fi when at home. Having a family of 4 on our data plan, we NEVER go over our 4GB limit because we almost always use wi-fi (except when out somewhere that there's no free wi-fi)... and you don't even have to do this manually, because your phone automatically switches over between the two if you keep wi-fi on.

Huh? So anyone who doesn't want to exceed their plan limits might as well buy a flip phone? Most flip phones still have talk, text, data limits.........

It doesn't seem to be any more than they were collecting before.
They just seem to be making more use of it, and retaining some of it longer.

For example, Android phones report anonymous locations to google all the time, unless you take steps to forbid it. They use that to map traffic on Google Maps.
Now, this data is no longer anonymous. They know who was stuck in traffic on which roads and when and for how long.

Same thing with your appointments and searches and sports teams etc.

what version of android you currently use? at least if I go to "system setting/data usage/mobile" it tells me how much i have used and other stuff

Ok good, I thought I was some sort of moron for not knowing. Id rather be a moron than a prick though.

People, we're a few days from 2013. Unless you're gonna be John Conner off the grid, it ain't hard to find you...

You are right, not hard at all when you don't care at all about privacy. And the less you care, the easier it becomes, and the longer the data is held, and the more it is shared with other parties, and the more it is combined with other data, and the more it is mined, and.... well, you should get the idea by now.

I could find most of the info Google Now hands me fairly easily without it. Google now just lags the search app. Good thing Google let's you opt out and in anytime you like.