【Guide】Location Tracking Apps: Time to Keep a Check


With the use of some mobile applications, our privacy seems to be unsecured. There are lots of applications we use today that always demand to know our location, and once granted, the developers of such app would have access to track us where ever we are. With such apps, where we are, how long we stayed there and some other private information regarding our location can be easily deduced.

You need to note that the practice of demanding for your location is not only practiced by free apps that doesn’t require you to pay, it is also a practice of some other apps that requires you to pay as well.

A research was recently carried out by the New York Times to confirm how user’s location are shared on certain apps. The result of the research isn’t a good one for mobile users. In the research, the Times tested 20 different apps. All these apps had been earlier flagged by researchers and insiders for sharing location data with several vendors. 

Out of these 20, 17 apps were found to send the exact location (latitude and longitude information) of the user to 70 different businesses. One of these apps is the WeatherBug on iOS which alone sends the information to 40 different companies. As per The Times, some companies who receive this data call it ‘unsolicited’ or ‘inappropriate’.

How to avoid sharing your location?

If you stick to the following practice, apps would be prevented from tracking your location:

      Avoid sharing your location with them
It is important that you avoid sharing your location unnecessarily based on the demand from certain apps. For instance, the weather apps on your phone might demand that you give permission for it to read your location so it can update you of the forecast. You need to note that the moment you accept this, the weather app now has full access to track where you are and can easily share it with any one. 

Although this might be stated in the long written text of terms and conditions that you might not even have time to read. What’s important is that you should limit the usage of such app, or even avoid totally if possible for the benefit of your privacy.

·        Check your settings
If you want to know weather a particular app on your phone is capable of tracking your location or not, all you need to do is to check your phone setting. On Android, this can be done by tapping on the setting icon, scroll to Apps and notifications, select the app you want to examine, proceed to tap permissions. At this stage, you will find a three dot icon in the upper right corner of your phone, tap it and select all permissions, then look for “location” by scrolling down. Once this is done the final stage is to tap on the location icon and close it. Now the app has no access to track your location anymore.

On iOS, tap your setting icon, scroll down to privacy, select location services. At this stage, the individual location settings will appear on the screen. Select any app you want to examine, then adjust its access to whatever way you want it. If you close the location, then it won’t be accessible to your location anymore.