On Your Side: How your phone tracks and stores your daily routine data
MACON, Ga. --- For many of us, life without a smartphone is unthinkable. But along with the conveniences the device offers come privacy concerns. Austin Reagan with Quality Computers in Macon said smartphones have the power to always know where you are.
"Wherever you go, there is always a geotag,” he said.
That means locations are saved on smartphones, and even attached to pictures.
If you take a picture with your phone and open the details of that picture, it will show the exact location where the photo was taken, along with other photos you’ve taken nearby
What some may find even more surprising, your phone can track your frequent locations. mapping out exactly where you go and exactly how much time you spend there.
If you don't like the thought of your phone or other apps tracking your movements this closely, you can manually turn off those location services.
HOW TO DISABLE FREQUENT LOCATIONS:
- Open Settings
- Select “Privacy” then tap “Location Services”
- Scroll down and tap “System Services”
- Scroll down again and tap “Frequent Locations” and you can see a record of where you go.
- Tap the slider next to “Frequent Locations” to disable the feature.
- Open Settings
- Select Locations
- Scroll to find “Google Location Settings”
- Select “Location Reporting” and “Location History” and disable both features.
Reagan said some app developers gather your location data for marketing purposes.
"They just want to see what you like so they can see you emails or advertise through Safari or Google Chrome or whatever to get your attention,” Reagan said.
If you read information provided on your iPhone about location services, Apple says the data from the "frequent location" feature is kept solely on your device to personalize your services.
It will not be sent to Apple without your consent.
However, Reagan said you need to be careful with the apps you download to your phone, and be picky about what information you give away location services linked to apps.
“Some applications will give that information to third party people to actually advertise directly to you,” he said. “A lot of court cases have ruled in favor of that, which is scary to think about, so that' why you have to be careful with that.”