My Google history is empty, nothing there.
I’ve had location sharing and location history disabled for years, along with WiFi and Bluetooth scanning. I’d like to have the functionality at times, but I don’t want to spend the battery and data on it. It makes a noticeable difference in battery life.
You can also tell Google to expire the data after a set period, but that would still require the data to be sent, which is what I don’t want.
They’re still sneaky, always trying to persuade me to enable location history, search history etc. They’re almost begging me to do it in order to get certain features. And you need to go through an ever growing list of menus in the Google app and on your account to find all the places to turn it off. But it’s doable, and I believe it works.
If they still secretly collect and save the data despite it, that would be blatantly illegal, and they’d be looking at huge fines. Particularly in the EU, where Margrethe Vestager has made little doubt how much she despises Google. They’ve already been fined billions for much lesser infractions.
I don’t think they would take that risk for such a small gain. Few people have the patience or persistence to turn the collection off and keep it off. It’s small potatoes.
Microsoft OTOH, are the worst about data collection, and always were. I use Edge, both on phone and PC, but with Google set as my search engine. But MS still uses Bing if I accidently use the search box on new tabs (instead of the address line). One search is all it takes, and I’ll be spammed with overtly “relevant” ads on every web page I visit the following weeks. And they do NOT provide ways to turn this collection off like Google does. At least not that I’ve found.
All the big players want to collect your data and monetize it if they can. But some pretend to be holier (such as Apple) whereas Google never made any secret that this is their business, and they want you in. But at least they give you opt-outs. Of course Facebook is the worst and really bad at covering it up. And Microsoft seems to have gotten a pass despite them being some of the worst.