(J. Duaine Hahn) Has your special someone been peeping over your shoulder while you’re on your smartphone recently? You better keep that passcode extra secure, because if not, there’s a hidden option in iOS 7 and Android that keeps track of everywhere you’ve been—down to the minute—that they’re going to want to get their spying little hands on. Trust us, it’s a jealous person’s gold mine.
iOS 7 and Google Now in Android keep track of users’ locations to help the smartphone makers provide personalized information through their location-based services, like Siri. But the details they track go further than just knowing that you went to Best Buy on Saturday to check out other phones—their maps actually log in HOW LONG you were at each location.
Take the above example, for instance, of an employee here at the Complex offices. Without “checking in” or doing anything whatsoever, iOS 7 logged in how long each day they were at the office, and the duration of the stay. Another employee saw his iPhone 5S log in how long he was home without ever giving the phone his address: the phone automatically labeled the location as “Home,” given the hours he was there. Scary? Yeah, a little. But the more imformation your phone has of you, the more you can hypothetically get out of its tailored services. If that information gets into the wrong hands, though, then you might find yourself in trouble with some explaining to do.
So if you want to check out your information and turn it off (or leave it on), head to your iPhone’s Settings.
- Once there, go to Privacy.
- Tap Location Services at the top.
- Then scroll down to System Services at the bottom.
- Once you do that, find Frequent Locations and select that. (Some people don’t have this option, we don’t know why yet.)
From there, you should see everything your phone has on you. Clear your history and turn off Frequent Locations to disable the tracking feature.
Google users can view what locations Google has logged over at this page. For Android devices, it depends on what model and version you have. But on Android 4.3 or lower, users should be able to click off the option in Google Settings in the app menu. Once in Google Settings, hit Location, then Location Reporting.