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Google being evil again, or just me being paranoid?

Like most people in 2018, I have a smartphone. For some months–probably for longer, but I only really noticed it in the past 8 or 9 months–I get these random traffic updates on my phone every twice in a while. “Light traffic in your area,” for example. Anyhow. A week or so ago I realized that these messages aren’t actually random. In fact, every time my car goes somewhere, even if my phone stays at home, I get a “traffic update.”

Now, several people use my car. And as soon as my car moves out of the driveway, my phone gets a traffic update even if I’m sitting in my kitchen and someone else has the car. Also, each time someone stops, turns off the car, then starts going again, I get another traffic update.

Wtf?

I have a 2012 manual Mazda 2, and the fanciest thing about it is a CD player. It has no tech, not even an mp3 player or remote lock/unlock capability. I do have a TomTom (which has quit working and is currently unplugged from its power source.) And the car does have a GPS tracker attached to the underside of it somewhere–put there by the dealership so they can find it if they ever need to repo it–but that shouldn’t have anything to do with Google. So how the hell does GOOGLE know when my car leaves my house? Google knows my car left home even when I don’t know myself sometimes! How is this even possible?

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