Just when you thought your iPhone is the safest place to keep all your secrets comes a revelation that invades your privacy.
In a report by Thrillist, it was revealed that Apple has buried deeply into your iPhone devices a setting that can track your locations anywhere you go. Although at surface level this may sound like a basic function of your iPhone, it is actually more alarming than that.
In the same report, Thrillist reveals that this application “plots every location you’ve visited, when, and how often.” That means that if someone else had access to your phone, they can easily track your past whereabouts and know which places you frequent.
For a better look at how this stalker app works, an article from Time by Alicia Adamczyk breaks down the process of looking for it in a device and what data can be found once it is accessed. Adamczyk found out that the app is capable of pinpointing the exact location of her apartment in New York, it was also able to record the address of the house she visited in Boston and her home address in Michigan. To add to the creepiness of the discovery, Adamczyk also found out that the app tallies how many times a user visited a certain place. The article suggests that the feature is alarming because the data recorded can be used against its owner any time.
The good thing is, the application can be turned of. According to Thrillist, these are the steps to turn off the disturbing feature:
1. Go to your “Settings” menu and select “Privacy”
2. Once you are in, select “Location Services”
3. Scroll down, look for and select “System Services”
4. Once you are in, look for “Frequent Locations”
5. At this point you can stop the feature from running by choosing “Turn Off”
Thrillist also shares that clicking “Frequent Locations” will give you your location data: places you have been to, how many times you have been on those places and even the exact time stamp that you have been there.
At the end of the day, it is still your choice as an iPhone user whether to turn off the app or let it continue to record the places you visit.