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Google Maps to Delete Cloud Data, Switch to On-Device Storage in Privacy Boost

The Timeline feature in Google Maps will now store user location history on their device instead of on the cloud.


Google Maps is altering data storage practices for its users' location history. By December, the application will save location data directly on users' mobile devices, rather than relying on cloud servers. aims to strengthen privacy by keeping users' location information off company servers.

Google has announced that its Timeline feature, which chronicles users' movements and routes, will now be associated with individual devices instead of Google accounts. Users are encouraged to save their travel logs on their mobile devices before December 1st, after which Google will start removing older records from its servers.

Impact on User Experience

Starting in December, the Timeline feature will no longer be accessible from the web. Users who do not activate the new settings by the deadline will have their last 90 days of travel history transferred to the first device they log into, with all older data automatically deleted. Users must open on their mobile device, go to their profile, and select “Your Timeline” to choose between manual data retention or automatic deletion every three, 18, or 36 months.

Steps for Users

To adapt to this change, users should:

1. Open Google Maps on their mobile device.
2. Tap the profile picture in the top-right corner.
3. Select “Your Timeline.”
4. Choose a setting for retaining location data.

Google will now save the selected data on the user's device, underlining its commitment to .

Timeline Feature and User Control

The feature formerly known as Location History is now known as Timeline. It allows users to look back at past destinations and routes. Users can set automatic deletion options by opening Google Maps, tapping the profile icon, selecting “Your Timeline,” accessing the menu via the three-dot icon, and navigating to “About timeline.” Users then go to “Activity controls,” find “Auto-delete,” tap the arrow on the right, and choose between “Don't auto-delete activity” or “Auto-delete activity.” Options for auto-deletion include 3 months, 18 months, or 36 months, but users also have the option to manually delete any Timeline data from their device.

This update aligns with Google's recent privacy enhancements, including the December 2023 move to bolster location data protection and restrict third-party access. By storing location data on personal devices, Google aims to increase user control over personal information, reflecting a growing emphasis on data privacy and security.

Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.

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