Where have you been?

Do you know where your kids are? Are they safe. Common questions from parents of teens these days. But who else wants to know where your kids are? How about advertisers. The world of Google has made for the ultimate resource: INFORMATION. We are taught has children that information is power. Well Google has collected a lot of it. If you want to know where you are you can just use the GPS on your phone. But what if you want to know where you kids are. There are apps you can buy and pay for to track your loved ones, but did you know that Google wants to know where you are and where you have been? I purchased my new Android smartphone on December 6th 2013. I know this because that is how far I can go and see everywhere I have been. You heard me. You can go to your Google account and just ask for the location history of where has your phone been. It has been saved since the day you got your phone. How do you access this gem. First you go to Google and log into your account. Then be sure to click on the link: https://maps.google.com/locationhistory/  This will present to you a calendar and a map.  This map has a number of points on it.  Each point is somewhere that your phone stood still for over five minutes.  How can this be useful.  Well you can use it to check on your child’s location and verify when you ask: “Where have you been?”  Why does Google want this data? Well advertisers want to know where you like to visit.  They want to know what shops to go to and where you like to go to eat.  This way they can offer alternatives that align with the same style of service or food selection but instead to location that is advertising on the Google service.  What to do if you don’t want this fantastic magical free service.  Well you can disable your GPS in the phone.  Of coarse that would disable a number of features like maps and so forth but that is why this is important. You have to decide if the free services you are getting with GPS and the Google account is worth your information. Each and every time you drive or walk somewhere that information can be recorded.  Personally I use it for my advantage.  It can be useful to stream line your trips and save gas by tracking where you go and looking for solutions to better plan your trips.  Oh and Google does offer you to delete your location history.  But does it really remove it from all their servers or just from your access to them?  These are all questions that will affect the growing group of issues that we will need to face as technology grows.  Will our laws catch up to the tech that we all have grown accustomed to using.