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Precise location provides your coordinates to the app

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Photo: Angie Yeo (shutter stock)

It’s no secret that our app uses our location. You can’t go far on a road trip if Google Maps can’t see where you are. However, the smartphone maker has not disclosed how the location information is obtained.Shared work—In particular, being able to choose whether or not to share Universal place or your just position. Unless you tweak your privacy settings regularly, you may be broadcasting to apps that need your precise location.

There are two types of location data that can be shared with apps. One is general location information. This option gives the app the radius of your current location, but not the exact address. The app can tell you which part of the city you are in and can help provide information relevant to your area, but knowing you are at a friend’s house at 123 Main Street. I can not do it.

Precise location information, on the other hand, is exactly what it sounds like.This is a setting that allows the app to recognize your specific location, so the app knows exactly where you are. Depending on the app, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Of course, navigation apps come to mind because you want Maps to know you’re on a highway rather than a lake running along a highway.

Location tagging is another common use case. For our app to automatically tag restaurants, bars, parks, or other specific locations, we need precise locations, not rough locations.

However, few apps can do that. requirement to know your exact location. GPS app, yes. sProbably not.it takes very little It’s time to type in where to tag instead of asking Instagram or Snapchat to tag you. For the purposes of most apps, a vague understanding of where you are is good enough. Less personal data will need to be shared with these companies.

Is Precise Location a Dangerous Feature?

Your exact location may be in the news as something bad actors can use to target you. The claim is that your exact location shares your exact whereabouts, so someone could use one of your social media posts to track you.

Exact position, and position-Overall tracking has its drawbacks, but it may not allow strangers on the internet to stalk you. Take Instagram for example. It may have your exact location, but don’t use it in your posts unless you want to. Instagram doesn’t store geotags on photos you take with the app either, but even if you upload a geotagged photo, there’s no way for your followers to download the original photo and view its tags. there is no.

However, geotagging is something to consider. Your phone’s camera may add the exact location of the photo to the metadata of the file, using the exact location by default. That means the place stays in the picture. Send that photo directly to others so they know where you were when the photo was taken. If you want to remove this data before sharing your photos with the world, Check out our guide here.

The issue here is more related to privacy than security. By keeping your precise location turned on, you can share your precise location with interested businesses (and they can all be interested). Apple and Google are trying to stop developers from selling your data to advertisers and other companies. it still happensThe good news, if you can call it that, is that all of this data is anonymous and not directly associated with you. It sounds like your app is selling your location data to Big Brother to spy on your movements, but in reality, companies use this data to sell better products ( After all, we live in a boring dystopia).

Even so, it’s scary!Turning off precise location doesn’t stop companies from receiving and selling your location data, but it doesn’t stop them from receiving and selling your location data. just position.

Manage precise location settings on your smartphone

The problem is that precise location is a sneaky feature, especially on the iPhone. The first time you open an app that requires location information, you’ll see a popup asking for your permission. This popup with a minimap preview of your current location is something everyone on iOS knows and usually shares your location with the app all the time, only when you’re using the app, or never. ask. .

what is not What’s clearly apparent here, however, is the precise toggle hidden in the minimap, which is set to ‘on’ by default. You have to switch it off here before.

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screenshot: Jake Peterson

Even if you’ve already granted these permissions, it’s not too late to fix the problem.You can manage your precise location settings on an iPhone running iOS 14 or higher, or an Android device running Android 12 or higher.

go on iphone To Settings > Privacy > Location Services, select the app you want to manage. Then make sure the toggle next to “Precise Location” is disabled. On Android, long press the app you want to manage, then tap To App Info > Permissions > All Permissions. Bottom positionmake sure “approximate location” is enabled and “exact location” is disabled.

Disabling precise location in most apps is a good way to protect your privacy. In the meantime, check all your location settings. iphoneand your Google account.

Precise location provides your coordinates to the app

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