Photo: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Many Google services on Android devices and iPhones store your location data even if you’ve used privacy settings that say they will prevent them from doing so, AP tech writer Ryan Nakashima reports.

Why it matters: "The finding is the latest instance in which a technology company has violated its own promises to protect user privacy."

The details:

  • "Even with Location History paused, some Google apps automatically store time-stamped location data without asking."
  • "Google stores a snapshot of where you are when you merely open its Maps app. Automatic daily weather updates on Android phones pinpoint roughly where you are."
  • "And some searches that have nothing to do with location, like 'chocolate chip cookies,' or 'kids science kits,' pinpoint your precise latitude and longitude — accurate to the square foot — and save it to your Google account."
  • "The privacy issue affects some two billion users of devices that run Google’s Android operating software and hundreds of millions of worldwide iPhone users who rely on Google for maps or search."

Response from a Google spokesperson: “There are a number of different ways that Google may use location to improve people’s experience, including: Location History, Web and App Activity, and through device-level Location Services."

  • "We provide clear descriptions of these tools, and robust controls so people can turn them on or off, and delete their histories at any time.”

Go deeper: "Google consumes one-third of our digital minds," by Axios' Sara Fischer:

  • Google products, including YouTube and Waze, accounted for 34.2% of all time on digital media in June, per Pivotal Research analyst Brian Wieser.

Go deeper

Congress' next moves to rein in Big Tech

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

After grilling the CEOs of Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple last week, members of Congress are grappling with whether to accuse any of the firms of illegal anticompetitive behavior, to propose updating federal antitrust laws — or both.

The big picture: Congress is just one arm of government making the case against these companies. Google is expected to be the first of the firms to face possible antitrust litigation from the Justice Department before summer's end, but all four face a full-court press of investigations by DOJ, the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general.

Fauci: Coronavirus task force to examine aerosolized spread


A sneeze. Photo: Maartje van Caspel/Getty Images

The White House coronavirus task force will examine more closely just how much SARS-CoV-2 might be transmitted via aerosols, and not just from droplets, NIAID director Anthony Fauci said Wednesday at an online forum sponsored by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Why it matters: The longer the coronavirus can remain infectious in the air, the more likely it can infect people, particularly indoors — leading to the possible need to alter air filtration and circulation within buildings.

The next wave to hit Main Street

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Call it the great retail wash. A wave of defaults, bankruptcies and evictions expected in cities across the U.S. is poised to remake the retail landscape across the country, but there may be some upside for consumers and small businesses.

Why it matters: Rather than an overnight descent into a collection of urban wastelands full of Starbucks, Amazon fulfillment centers, Chase bank branches and nothing else, the coronavirus pandemic and resulting retail apocalypse may just mean that, in major U.S. cities, less is more.