Your iPhone may be tracking your location: How to stop that

By Gustavo

According to a story posted by The New York Times on December 19, it was stated that how smartphone companies are tracking user location data and sometimes they even keep track of the identity of the person that is supposed to be kept private.

We have seen in the past, how tech giants like Google, Amazon, and Facebook are accused of using user private data that supposed to be not used. Apple is considered to be the only tech company in the world that puts the privacy of the users at the top. Recently launched, iOS 13 is built to protect users’ privacy and at the launch of Tim Cook said that “privacy is fundamental at Apple.” But, do you know your iPhone is tracking your location on several occasions.

For instance, if you have dug your iPhone then the System Service page shows around 20 ways where your iOS phone may be tracking your location. Well, as Apple says that all the data is “end-to-end encrypted” and there is no leakage there but many people do not know about the existence of this page.

There are several apps and features on your device that may make the iPhone use your location, such as HomeKit. If you are using Apple’s smart home devices and they are connected to your iPhone then iPhone uses your location for this app to know if you are at home or near home to access functions like turning off the lights or turn them off. For “Find My”, iPhone uses the location and sometimes for automatically changing the time zone when you are traveling. 

But there are a few places where you might not want your iPhone to track you at all. Apple tracks your location for “Location-Based Apple Ads,” for example. It can use your location for “Location-Based alerts,” or to let you know about merchants where you used Apple Pay to buy something.

These all things are significant but there are some other things “location-based Apple Ads” or “Location-based alerts” of the shops you have visited before, you won’t want your iPhone to track your location. Sometimes it also tracks your location to improve many functions, such as improving Maps, Photo memories, and Calendar. There is a section named “Significant Locations” where iPhone stores the locations you visit. But according to Apple’s “Significant Locations” page, all data are end-to-end encrypted and it cannot be used by Apple.

But many of the users would like this even Apple is keeping all the location information so much private. So how can you stop your iPhone from tracking your location?

First, let’s check how the iPhone tracks your location and how you can manage it.

Go to settings => Privacy => Location Services => System Services (at the bottom of the page)

Here, you shall see various services using your locations such as “Cell Network Search,” “HomeKit,” “Location-Based Apple Ads,” “Location-Based Alters,” and others. You can just toggle off any of them. You shall also see an arrow near the services in different colors where:

Hollow arrow – Item may receive your location under certain conditions

Purple arrow – Your location has been used recently 

Gray arrow – Your location has been used by the item in the last 24 hours

Then you can check the ‘Significant Locations” page where you can see various locations and places you have been in the past with dates. Well, you can turn them off but it will affect many Apple apps and Services so we won’t recommend keeping it on. You can check your personalized location information. 

These are the setting on our iPhone that we don’t check very often or sometimes never. You can make changes according to your preference here. Well, you can check and change the settings used by all the other apps from the “Location Services” page.

Final words:

Apple and iPhone track your location sometimes but the information is used to improve your usability. It cannot be hacked or even Apple cannot read your location. So don’t worry about your privacy you are in safe hands with Apple.

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By Gustavo
He is a senior writer at Gustavo has good knowledge about the online world (especially digital marketing) and loves to share ideas with visitors. He has a good experience of writing about Apple since he used every Apple products like iPhone, Apple TV, Apple Watch, Mac, etc.

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