Specifically, if you have an Android cell phone and have shopped for any new app, then you’ll have a Google account. There, you can find all sorts of useful things like email, maps, spread sheets and, it turns out, where you were any day since you got the phone.
What’s that, you say? Google knows where I was every day since I got the thing?
The phone is using its GPS and other “location services” to automatically log your whereabouts. And it’s sending it all to Google who dutifully stores it away in their database.
Google calls it your timeline and, through it, you can display a map of your meanderings for any day. The screen capture above–click it for a full-size version–shows that a little over a year ago, on September 15th of 2015, I was at the DoubleTree by Hilton (hotel) in Claremont and went to Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena and then back.
Scrolling down the list on the left I went from the hotel to Some Crust Bakery at 119 Yale Ave in Claremont from 10:32 to 10:54.
I was then “Moving” for 38 minutes–traffic on the 210 was pretty fast westbound at that time–before arriving at Vroman’s at 11:31 where I stayed until 1:15PM.
Zooming in, I can see where I parked near my granddaughter’s college and then how long it took to walk to her dorm, and exactly where that is on the campus.
I’ve been involved with the technology behind this from the very beginning but I have to say I am not just a little disturbed with the enormity of all this. When I consider the large corporate databases that’ve been breached and sucked dry such as Target, Yahoo and many others, I’m none too comfortable having my every movement, day by day, minute by minute and step by step stored in yet another large corporate database.
Google is fact not fiction.
(Tip for crooks: Leave your Android phone at home.)