Here’s the thing: We all know that Google knows everything about us – and of course that includes where you are and where you’ve been.
But seeing all of that tracking in a neat little timeline is a tad disconcerting. A little bit neat and possibly useful, but pretty damn weird as well.
Google has just launched a new feature for Android and desktop Google Maps called Your Timeline. What it amounts to is a detailed listing of all the locations you’ve been during a given day, month or year.
“Have you ever wanted a way to easily remember all the places you’ve been — whether it’s a museum you visited during your last vacation or that fun bar you stumbled upon a few months ago? Well, starting today, Google Maps can help. We’re gradually rolling out Your Timeline, a useful way to remember and view the places you’ve been on a given day, month or year. Your Timeline allows you to visualize your real-world routines, easily see the trips you’ve taken and get a glimpse of the places where you spend your time. And if you use Google Photos, we’ll show the photos you took when viewing a specific day, to help resurface your memories,” says Map Product Manager Gerard Sanz.
Creep level 100.
As long as you’ve enabled “Location History”, Google tracks your every move. This is how it populates your Timeline.
“Location History helps you get useful information – for example, automatic commute predictions, improved search results – by creating a private map of where you go with your logged-in devices,’ says Google.
You Timeline is private and only visible to you. If you’re a person who frequently travels, or drinks too much, this could prove a useful reminder of where you’ve been (or what you’ve done).
But there’s no denying that to some, this sort of knowledge of how much they’re being tracked will simply be unsettling. Even though they already knew.