Am I Transmitting My Location?

The first blog in this 4 part series gave an overview of how your location can be revealed whilst you post on social media. This blog looks at a few examples in more detail.

Firstly in the core settings of your phone you’ll be able to see which apps are using your location – that is the GPS of your phone. I just opened mine up and it’s surprising to see how many apps actually use your location. The iPhone gives you the option to turn off location for either all apps, or the ones that you are happy to transmit. Some apps really don’t need access to this, and a few years ago Wired published an article about a torch app explaining more – https://www.wired.com/2014/10/iphone-apps/

Our awareness of privacy has increased since then, as well as some of the functionality within the Social Media apps to allow the user the option to opt in or opt out of transmitting their whereabouts. The Facebook iPhone app will automatically opt you in to their location services when you install it. You can go back to the settings above and change this, however if you forget then your entire place history will be stored there. This could put you at risk if someone ever gained access to your account, as they would know your previous whereabouts.

With so many apps now on the market it’s really important to check the settings, both when you install them and as you use them. Also, if you receive a message stating “our terms and conditions have changed” don’t just click “OK” because buried in there could be a change on location settings. My next blog will look at how some other 3rd party apps tap into the location settings of common Social Media apps to present their own information.

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