Shame On You: Google Location History

Google Location History or more commonly known as Google Timeline is a nifty feature (at least for me) to record all of your visted places. Every since I’ve got my Sony Xperia S, my first actual Android phone. I’ve been pinning places that I visted. Is a nifty and useful feature for me to recall where I visited it, showing to a friend or just finding a really nice restaurants or places that I’ve visted before.


Google took a stance for location history for a while, but not the kind I’ve seen recently where some of your data if not all has been effected or deleted. Of course, Google has always allowed us to delete our history forever. But due to recent change, this may not be the case.

Location History has been stored on the cloud as always and makes your location history tracking easier and allowing you to pull out your other devices like your phone or PC and view your location history from where you previously left off. My Google Maps was filled with red dots all over Melbourne, Australia and some places outside of Melbourne, Australia. But now it’s gone, at least half of it.

So what happened to it?

Google decided to change how location history is stored as of the time of this writing. Instead of storing it on the cloud like in the past, this is stored on your device. Not only that, Google decided to stop you from viewing your location history on your PC and even if you tried to takeout the data, you will get a Encrypted Backups.txt that says “You have encrypted Timeline backups stored on Google servers.”

You can however create a backup of the timeline and restore on other devices, but still.

This apparently also killed the ability for anyone else to look at your data, especially if you are using a public PC. For local and federal authorities that decides to serve up a warrant and look at your timeline as Google no longer has access to those data anymore as they are now stored on your phone rather than the cloud.

I’ve also got a email from Google titled Keep your Timeline? Decide by 8 December 2024. And to summarize: Each device will have it’s own timeline and you have to change your “storage” setting before 8 December 2024 or else Google mayh remove your timeline data.

This sucks, as I’ve missed half of my journey I did since I first got my Android phone. Now I think they “categorized” the timeline area so they pretty much combined places into one group. Is Just like looks ridiculous and don’t feel the same vibe as few month ago. Google timeline is like my leaderboard or Last.FM for maps.

Thanks Google.

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