Types of location data used by Google

Different types of location information may be used in various Google products.

Implicit location information is information that does not actually tell us where your device is located, but allows us to infer that you are either interested in the place or that you might be at the place. An example of implicit location information would be a manually typed search query for a particular place. Implicit location information is used in a variety of ways. For example, if you type in “Eiffel Tower”, we infer that you may like to see information for places near Paris, and we can then use that to provide recommendations about those local places to you.

Internet traffic information, such as IP address, is usually assigned in country-based blocks, so it can be used to at least identify the country of your device, and do things such as to provide you with the correct language and locale for search queries. This information is sent as a normal part of internet traffic.

Some products, such as turn-by-turn navigation in Google Maps for mobile, use more precise location information. For these products, you typically have to choose to turn on device-based location services, which are services that use information such as GPS signals, device sensors, Wi-Fi access points, and cell tower ids that can be used to derive or estimate precise location. You can subsequently choose to turn the device-based location services off. Certain devices and/or applications might also offer you additional location control settings for these device-based location services. For example, in some products, you can choose whether to store these locations in that product or account’s history.