How disable phone tracking you?
Just because you’re paranoid, don’t mean they’re not after. Here’s how to turn off location tracking inside iOS 7
With iOS 7 Apple introduced a feature called Frequent Locations that enables your iPhone to record, store, and identify frequent places you visit. For a lot of people the fact their phone automatically tracks their locations is a bit frightening, and slightly Big Brother-ish. What makes it worse is every once in a while some site will publish a horror story saying Apple is spying on you with this feature and then the entire Internet freaks out. So lets all take a moment to calm down and separate fact from fiction, shall we?
How do frequent locations work?
Using GPS and Wi-Fi triangulation, your iPhone automatically identifies and saves specific addresses local on your iPhone. If you spend a lot of time in one location day after day the software in your iPhone learns to identify it as a frequent, favorite location.
For example, if your iPhone sees you’re spending most of your daylight hours in an office in the city center it will automatically label this as your workplace. Likewise, if the iPhone sees you spend your evening hours in the same place night after night it will label this place your home. And if this place, for some reason, happens to be a pub, well, sir, you officially have a problem.
The iPhone can also identify places you shop at frequently, like your local Tesco, or places you eat at a lot, like your favorite pub.
Anything else that frequent locations do?
Yeah, it actually stores the exact time data you spend at each location. This is how it judges how important a place is to you. It’s how it knows that your workplace is your workplace (because you’re there during work hours). However, since frequent locations store the times you were at each location at every time, it could also potentially blow your cover if you are having a little fling on the side your significant other doesn’t know about.
Who has access to my frequent locations?
Only you and your iPhone. These saved locations are never sent to Apple’s servers and are not available to third-party apps, according to the company. Also, frequent locations are not backed up to iCloud, which means if you get a new iPhone your frequent locations don’t transfer over from your old device.
However, that all changes if you hand someone your phone. So if your location history is of the utmost secrecy don’t give your iPhone to people you don’t want knowing where you were.
So how are frequent locations used?
Right now these frequent locations are used by Apple’s Maps to give you the best driving directions as you go from place to place and that’s pretty much it. In the future it is possible Apple could use this data to provide more relevant Siri results, kind of like how Google Now does these days.
Okay, frequent locations freak me out. What can I do?
You can delete your frequent location history, or you can disable the feature entirely.
How do I delete my frequent location history?
Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services > Frequent Locations. You’ll see a list of all your frequent locations. Tapping on any item brings you to a new screen with detailed information about each local. Tap on each individual local to see the exact times you were there. Freak, huh? To delete your frequent location history tap the “Clear History” button on the Frequent Locations screen.
How do I disable frequent locations entirely?
Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services > Frequent Locations. Tap the green toggle button next to “Frequent Locations” so it turns white. That’s it – frequent locations will be shut off from then on. Keep in mind this may make your Apple Maps experience slightly less accurate, but hey…it’s Apple Maps, we’re used to that already, right!?