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

There are 25 comments

Who? says:

Battery and resource hogging service.

Spork1673 says:

have not noticed any negative affects on my battery or phone

Voliam says:

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

Mtn_Scott says:

Time for the tin foil hat.

nickacs says:

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..

crxssi says:

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".

icebike says:


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?


mwara244 says:

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.

gregba says:

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?

If you really care about that, buy a flip phone. :)

kaablewy says:

Reasonable question, asshole response.

I'm not surprised.

LMO says:

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.........

icebike says:

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.

kolos says:

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

balthuszar says:

if you have a line that has a dumbphone on it...two words, alternate upgrade

gregba says:

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

ISS2 says:

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...

crxssi says:

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.

chuchave says:

exactly...i trust google with my data

joeynumbers says:

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.

balthuszar says:

i'm going on 24 hours and still at 52% battery on my razr hd

chuchave says:

pay u for ur data are u serious? we already get google services for free!!!

people takes 2 seconds to turn off google now not a big deal