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Why does Google use location information?

The Google Privacy Policy explains how we handle data (such as location information) when you use Google products and services. On this page you can find out more about the location information we collect. We also explain which settings you can make for this.

Google's greatest concern is to offer you, the user, meaningful added value. Location information plays an important role in this. This not only applies to route suggestions, but also to your search results, which should contain places in your area. In this way you can also find out when a restaurant is usually well attended. All of which make Google products and services more relevant and useful to you. Location information is also used to provide you with some basic product functionality. For example, we can show you a website in the correct language or make sure that our services are secure.

How does Google know my location?

Depending on the products you use and the settings you choose, you pass on different location information to Google, which is necessary for some services to function and which makes other services more useful to you. The location can be determined via real-time signals, e.g. B. via your IP address or the device location. In addition, your previous activities on Google websites and in Google services can be used to optimally adapt our products for you. The following is the main way we get information about your location.

Via the IP address of your internet connection

An IP address - also known as an Internet address - is assigned to the device by the Internet provider and is a prerequisite for using the Internet. IP addresses are used to establish a connection between your device and the websites and services you visit. They are roughly based on the geographical position. This means that any website you visit, including google.com, can get information about your approximate location.

Like many other internet services, Google uses your location information to offer you some basic services. For example, when the information about your approximate location is obtained, Google can provide you with relevant search results and protect your account by detecting unusual activity such as logging in from a new location.

About your previous activities

If you use our services, we will assume that you are interested in a location, even if your device does not tell us exactly where you are. For example, if you search for "cafes in Paris", let's assume you are interested in locations near Paris and show you results with the cafes there. Some of your activities, such as For example, previous searches can also include your approximate location information at a specific point in time. Depending on your settings, this information will be stored in your account and used, for example, to determine whether you are still in Paris when you make further searches later.

About your places with a label

You can also tell us locations that are important to you, e.g. B. Your home or work. For example, you can get route suggestions faster by having quicker access to your private and business addresses. This data also affects the results we show you. additional Information

From your devices

Many devices such as smartphones or computers can determine their exact location. You can allow Google and other apps to offer you useful functions based on the location of the device. For example, if you're running late to meet up with friends, you probably need a navigation app that can show you the shortest route to the meeting point. To get detailed route guidance, you may need to activate the device location and grant the app access to it. For some searches, such as For example, if the exact location is available, the results will usually be more helpful.

If you activate the location on your Android device, you can use the navigation functions, give an app access to your current location or search for your smartphone. You also have the option of using intuitive settings to specify which apps have access to the device location. On Android, you will see the location icon at the top of the screenwhen an app requests access to the GPS-based location of your smartphone. additional Information

Google location services

On most Android devices, Google, as the network location provider, provides the Google Location Services (GLS) service, known as Google Location Accuracy on Android 9 or later. This service is intended to determine the device location more precisely and to improve the general location accuracy. Most smartphones are equipped with GPS, which uses satellite signals to determine the location of the device. Google's location services collect additional information from nearby Wi-Fi networks, mobile networks, and device sensors that determine the location of your device. Location information is regularly processed by your device and used anonymously to improve location accuracy.

You can deactivate Google's location services at any time in your device's location settings. The device's location feature will continue to work even if Google's location services are turned off. However, the device then only uses GPS to determine the location of the device for apps with the required authorization. Google's location services are different from your device's location settings. additional Information

You can use the settings and permissions under Android to determine whether your device sensors (e.g. GPS) or the network-based location (e.g. GLS) are used to determine your location. You can also manage which apps have access to your location. These settings do not affect how websites and apps share your approximate location in other ways, such as when you are B. via your IP address.

How are locations saved in my Google Account?

Depending on which Google products and services you use and which settings you have specified, the location information is saved in your Google account. This information is usually stored in "Location History" and "Web & App Activities".

Google location history

If you activate the location history and your device sends its location, the exact location of your registered devices will be recorded and saved, even if you are not currently actively using a Google product or service. This is how you can create your timeline that stores location history data that may be used for future recommendations on Google. You can review, edit, and delete the items saved in your timeline at any time.

If you enable location history, Google can personalize its services for you. For example, restaurant suggestions in Google Maps will take into account which restaurants you have previously visited and use real-time information to determine when it is best to go to work to avoid traffic jams. Also, Google Photos automatically creates albums of places you've visited.

You can check that you've turned on location history by going to your activity settings. You may be asked to log in. After that, you can see if this option is enabled. You can pause new location history data from collecting, but your previous location history data will be retained until you delete it. additional Information

If you delete your location history data, location information will still be stored in other locations, such as: B. under "Web & App Activities".

Web & app activities

When "Web & App Activities" is turned on, your searches and activities from a number of other Google services are stored in your Google Account. The activities saved under "Web & App Activities" can also contain location information. Example: If you enter "weather" in the search and receive weather information for your current location, this activity and the corresponding location will be saved in your "Web & App Activities". The location used and saved in your "Web & App Activities" can come from signals such as the IP address of the device, from past activities or from your device, if you have activated the location settings of your device.

If you enable the "Web & App Activities" option, we can show you more useful search results, more relevant advertisements and more suitable suggestions, such as the automatic suggestions based on your previous searches. You can check and delete the activities saved in your "Web & App Activities" or pause your Google account. If the "Web & App Activities" option is paused, your future searches and activities will no longer be saved by other Google services. If you delete your data under "Web & App Activities", location information will still be saved in other locations, e.g. B. under "Location history".

You can check that you have "Web & App Activities" enabled by going to your Activity Settings. You may be asked to log in. After that, you can see if this option is enabled. additional Information

How is the location used to show ads?

Advertisements displayed may be based on your general location. This can include can be determined via the IP address of the device. Depending on your personalized advertising settings, you may also see advertising based on activity on your Google Account. This also includes activities that are saved in your web & app activities and that can be used for more relevant advertisements. Another example: if you've turned on location history and, for example, visit ski resorts regularly, you may see an advertisement for ski equipment when you play a video on YouTube. If location history has been activated, Google also uses anonymized and aggregated data from it so that advertisers can determine how often they get more visits to their stores or other physical points of contact with their company through online advertising campaigns. Advertisers do not receive any location history or other identifying data from us.

You have control over the data stored in your Google account and can deactivate personalized advertising at any time. If it is deactivated, Google will no longer use the data stored in your Google account to show you relevant advertisements.