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How does Google use your phone to predict traffic and plan trips?

Our dependence on our smartphones has increased dramatically in the recent period, to the point that security experts indicate that we do not know exactly how much data our phones and applications we use every day send to corporate servers around the world. For example:

Did you know that Google Maps can use your phone to help anticipate road traffic congestion?

In our article today, we will discover how Google uses your phone to anticipate traffic and plan trips while you do not know, and how to turn off this feature if you do not like it:

First; How does Google know your exact location?

Have you noticed before that the arrival of a notice in your phone from (Google Maps) to nominate places near you, or to request an evaluation of a place you are in, even though you do not use the application (Google Maps) at this time? This happens because Google Maps has a background-based service to track your location, to provide you with services related to your location.

You can see this service while it works through the Timeline (Timeline) page in Google Maps, where you will find a complete list of your previous trips, including the number of cities that you visited, and the places you visited within this city and all of that is specified by time and date.

This is just one of the many techniques that explain how Google Maps works, and with this Google can predict traffic.

Secondly; How does Google use this information to predict traffic?

When using Google Maps on the go; Once you enter the interface that you want to reach, you will find that the application offers you more than one path to reach your destination, while clarifying that some areas are currently suffering from traffic congestion. How does Google predict traffic jams?

Google does this by locating the user via Google Maps, as each person carrying a smartphone that includes the Google Maps application, and has turned on the location tracking feature, represents a point in the map.

By this, you can know the crowded areas by the number of points that are inside them, for example: If the map shows a large gathering of points of the location inside the concert hall, there is supposed to be a party attended by a number of people.

In this way, traffic jams can be detected by the number of points on the roads, as people use their phones inside cars all the time, from turning on (GPS) to navigate, and even to children who are bored and watching YouTube in the back seat of the car. As a result, you will be able to see the movement of cars on the road.

Thus, Google uses the location data it receives to create a traffic forecast, as it searches for the site’s congestion through the number of points on the road, and uses that to direct other Google Maps users to keep them away from the congestion and provide faster paths.

Third; How can you stop Google tracking for you?

To start; You must log in to the Google Account Activity Controls page, where you can access and control your data held by Google, as appropriate for you.

This page includes the Location History setting, which contains a record of the places you've visited automatically, and Google allows you to delete this data manually, or set to delete it automatically after a specific time period, and you can do this by following these steps:

  •  Go to the main Google account page.
  •  Click the Data & personalization tab.
  •  Scroll down to the "Activity controls" section, then click "Manage activity".
  •  Under Location History; Click on "Manage activity".

  • You will see a timeline of all the places you have visited, and at the bottom of the screen you will find all the details of these places.
  • Click the gear icon at the bottom right of the page to access more settings.
  • Click Delete all Location History to delete all the location data for your phone saved in Google’s servers.

  • You can also set the automatic deletion of this record, by pressing the option “Automatically Delete Location History” below the previous option, and then specify the time period for deletion, three months, or 18 months.