To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Google Maps Incognito mode will hide your location from (Google’s) prying eyes

The new Maps feature will stop Google storing your location data – if you enable it

Back in May, Google announced it was developing an Incognito mode for Google Maps, which would purportedly stop the company from storing information on your whereabouts. Since the announcement, we haven’t heard much else but now a closed beta is finally being tested, suggesting a full rollout might be on the cards pretty soon.

The Incognito Maps tool will work in a similar way to the Google Chrome browser version, hiding location searches, map destinations, as well as any progress you may have made towards said destinations. Obviously, the new feature is designed for the Google Maps mobile app, which plays a much more active role in location tracking than its desktop counterpart.

Last year, Google came under fire after an investigation by the Associated Press found that the company was still following user movements, even if their location tracking was switched off. All turning off the location setting did was prevent user locations from appearing on the public timeline setting.

Google’s response to this was to bring out a feature earlier this year, which enabled users to automatically delete all location history every few months. It could very well be that the new Incognito maps is another step towards giving users more control over how their data is used.

When the new feature does roll out publicly, you’ll be able to switch it on and off simply by tapping your profile picture in the search bar and selecting “Turn on Incognito mode”, assuming the public version is the same as the beta.

The tweet below shows the beta version of Incognito Maps in action.

In the beta version, users see a black line across the top of their screen, indicating they are indeed incognito. Google has also kept the sneaky dark hat and sunglasses icon that it’s so famous for.

In light of the Associated Press report, it’s no secret that Google needs to make a change in the way it manages location data, so making this feature easily accessible is a pretty big deal. We’re not sure exactly when Google Maps Incognito will be available more widely but considering the beta testing is in full swing, we’re hoping to see it soon.

Read more