Very recently I discussed my concerns regarding several issues related to Google’s “Trusted Contacts” service. Trusted Contacts permits users to send their current location data to other users as notifications.
The situation was triggered when I suddenly began receiving such location data notifications from somebody I’d never heard of in Africa. Address typos? Trying to attract my attention for some other reason? I dunno.
But stopping those emailed notifications was easier said than done, because it turned out that there was no way to do so from a web page, and the only available mechanism to block them was usable only via the Trusted Contacts smartphone app that needed to be installed, which required enabling of Location History which I don’t ordinarily use. After installing the app (which I had no personal interest in installing otherwise, and which of course a person without a suitable smartphone would not have been able to do) I was ultimately able to stop the notifications. Not a good user experience.
Since then, I’ve already been contacted directly by Google’s privacy and maps teams about these issues, and they’ve now implemented the means for users to easily unsubscribe from such notifications via a web page — without the need for installing an app. Other very useful changes related to the issues that I identified are apparently in the pipeline for availability.
My great thanks to the Google teams involved for so rapidly reaching out to me regarding these matters, and especially for the ultra-quick implementation of the web-based Trusted Contacts notifications unsubscribe tool that is now available to desktop users!