Yikes: Google is rolling out a new Maps feature for Android called Your Timeline -- if for no other reason than to showcase its all-seeing, all-knowing, data-gathering omnipotence.
The feature -- providing an Android phone was along for the ride -- allows users to retrace past location data, correlated with other types of pertinent info gathered by Skynet during a journey.
Privacy freaks, are well, freaking, but fans and avid users of Google services are already raving about Your Timeline, delighted with its effusive data. So, depending on your creepiness meter readings, Your Timeline is a feature most users will either love at first sight, or, hate with all-consuming intensity.
In IT Blogwatch, bloggers leave their phones at home. Not to mention, Anarchy in the F.B...
Today's humble blogwatcher is Stephen Glasskeys.
Nathan Ingraham sounds a little creeped out:
If you're all-in on Google services...you're likely aware of the fact that Google tracks your location to serve you useful information. What you might not realize is just how much location data Google has on you. [The] company has just turned that somewhat creepy bit of info into a new feature called Your Timeline. MORE
And Chance Miller retraces his steps:
Not only does the feature show where you’ve been, it also shows what specific times you were there and in some cases, the...route you took to get there. The timeline also shows pictures that may have been taken at those locations. MORE
But Brian Fagioli tries to see the upside:
While I can see value in this for family vacations and memorable road trips, I am sure there are locations you do not want to be reminded of. For example, Google could remind you of your trip to the urologist for a prostate exam...or the outing to the mortuary for a family member's funeral.
Quite frankly, I am surprised that Google wants to bring attention to its creepy behaviors. This new tool could [make] people aware of how Google tracks them and wisely convince them to opt out of location history tracking. Maybe that is a good thing. MORE
So Cody Toombs uncovers hidden relics:
If you've ever visited Google's Location history page, [Your Timeline] is basically the same thing, but massively better. The web page never contained anything more than a bunch of lines and dots strewn about a map, but [this new] feature in Maps finally puts some context to the...data that we produce moving around with our phones.
I also noticed some strings...that suggest we'll be able to pause and resume location history, and also an option to turn on a rolling 90-day window where all history is kept until it gets too old, after which it is removed. I don't believe these options are available yet, but they're certainly coming. MORE
Meanwhile, Ron Amadeo connectifies the dots:
Pictures you've taken with your phone end up in the location history, too. On Android, they're all geotagged and get uploaded to Google Photos, so connecting the two was probably pretty easy.
You can edit or delete any individual stop from your history, including the location, transportation method, and time. [If] all of this (understandably) creeps you out, you can easily delete your entire location history. MORE
You have been reading IT Blogwatch by Richi Jennings and Stephen Glasskeys, who curate the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don't have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @itblogwatch or firstname.lastname@example.org. Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.