<pre><pre>All the places you’re traveling are recorded in detail on Google Maps - here’s how to stop them

A log of my trip to Bristol, RI.

Todd Haselton | CNBC

Wherever you go with your iPhone or Android phone, Google Maps tracks this information and stores it in a "timeline" that shows you where you are.

This includes creepy details, such as when you left work, when you got home, the exact route you took on the way, pictures you took in certain places, and much more. It shows you whether you have driven, walked or been on a train and which stops you might have made during your trip.

Sometimes this information can be helpful if you want to remember the restaurant where you ate in New York City on November 7th. (For me it was Philippe Chow) and what you did before and after.

Here's an example of that day, including my lunch break and a meeting with Snapchat on the Upper West side.

The Google Maps timeline shows you where you were and how you got there.

Todd Haselton | CNBC

When I zoom in, you'll see the exact route I took to get there and where I parked. It is wild:

The Google Maps timeline appears wherever you were on a particular day.

Todd Haselton | CNBC

There's no reason why Google needs to know so much information about you unless you do Really Be interested in things like Google's recommendations based on where you've been (like restaurants you might like). There are several ways you can restore your privacy.

To delete everything Google Maps currently knows about you:

Select "Clear All Location Logs."

Todd Haselton | CNBC

  • Open Google Maps on your iPhone or Android phone.
  • Tap your profile picture in the top right.
  • Select "Your data in cards".
  • Select "View and delete activity".
  • Click the menu button at the top right of the page and choose Settings.
  • Select "Clear All Location History."

I also recommend that you set it up so that Google automatically deletes all this location data every three months. Here's how:

Set Google Maps to automatically delete your location history.

Todd Haselton | CNBC

  • Open Google Maps on iPhone or Android.
  • Tap the menu bar at the top left of the app.
  • Choose "Your Timeline".
  • Tap the three dots at the top right of the screen.
  • Select "Settings and data protection".
  • Select "Automatically clear location history."
  • Change the setting from "Keep until manually deleted" to "Keep 18 months" or "Keep 3 months".

If you're really paranoid, you can turn it off entirely so that Google Maps can't find you at all. Just do the following:

Select the option to stop location history.

Todd Haselton | CNBC

  • Tap your profile picture in the top right.
  • Select "Your data in cards".
  • Tap where location history appears.
  • Turn off the switch.
  • Confirm that you want to pause the location log (it stays off until you turn it back on, if ever.)

If you don't mind that Google keeps track of you every day, but you want to stop it for a while, you can turn Incognito mode on Maps as follows:

Incognito mode from Google Maps (as shown on an Android phone)

Todd Haselton | CNBC

  • Open Maps on your iPhone or Android phone.
  • Tap your profile picture in the top right corner.
  • Select "Activate incognito mode".