Please stop sending my GPS location to Google

Since the 26th of February [1], the Android companion app constantly sends its users’ GPS coordinates to Google. It does that by continually requesting reverse geocoding (i.e., “translate GPS position to street address”), which on virtually all Android devices [2] is done via Google Maps. There is no warning about this, there is no way of turning it off (short of revoking the HA app’s location permission, which of course means that your HA instance can’t use your phone as a device tracker anymore).

And since I’ve had the “but you’re leaking your location to Google anyways” discussion three times now (twice on Discord, #general and #android, once on GitHub): No, if you configure your Android correctly, you’re not. Turn off location history, turn off Wifi-Assisted positioning, and your phone should (read: if Google is not lying) not send location information to Google servers. I agree that Google’s default settings (both are turned on by default) are evil. However, even evil Google offers to turn that off, contrary to the HA companion app.

I’ve opened a GitHub issue about this here:

[1] PR #476:
[2] Minus those which do not have the Google Services Framework installed


You can turn off location history on Apple devices. It’s under settings / privacy / location services / system services / significant locations.

Considering the name obfuscation and how deeply it is buried it’s no wonder most people don’t know this.

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What you can turn off is whether HA (the server instance) stores the locations or not. The Android app (don’t know about the iOS app) still continues to reverse-geocode all GPS positions, i.e., sending them all to Google.

Nope. You can turn off Apple’s storage of your location history.

Oh, okay. That’s great. But this is about the HA Android companion app on Android phones. Misunderstood you there, since there seems to be a function in HA (haven’t tested it) that prevents the locations from being recorded in the database.

Yeah I was just pointing out that this statement was incorrect:

I thought you meant the iOS app.

However evil HA companion app doesn’t allow to run without google :sob:

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