Did you ever think about how other parties accumulating your data as you go on your day? It can be a strange and unrelenting feeling that somebody is tracking you every time you watch all the creepy perfectly targeted advertisements on the internet and social media.
It makes us alert that our location data is being sold, and we often don’t get noticed. Whether the websites we go online or where we go in the genuine world, there are specific features that persistently keep noticing us.
Do you have that weather app on your Smartphone? Why does it need your location? It may be utilizing your location data for somewhat more than that.
Your Location Data is Being Sold without Informing You
According to a thorough report published by The New York Times, well-known iPhone and Android apps are collecting exact location data, which include accurate longitude and latitude coordinates among particular lane addresses and even timestamps.
The Times make use of data from the mobile app analytical program to highlight apps that has location tracking code. These code letters can be added by app developers that supplied by location data companies. They also make money with ads based out of the location by collecting data.
Generally, selling and advertising companies purchase the location data that gets utilized for targeted ads. Undoubtedly, the data is anonymized that still has safety risk since it may be associated with home or work addresses.
You can avoid sharing location data if you don’t permit those apps. Well, this is not the case with an individual; it happens with everyone using Smartphone apps. Some apps never share the reason for asking the permission of location sharing. Or, if they provide reasons, they can be misleading or unclear.
For instance, a weather application needs your location data to give you the latest weather updates and notifications in your particular region. However, it does not expose in the authorization that it can put up for sale and shared with other third parties.
Apps used for tracking location can also be one of those who sell your location data after informing you. And sometimes, giving permission to the apps is necessary because you cannot further operate the apps until you give permission.
Location Data is Money
Data is the main dynamic force in the age of targeted marketing. Not only are smaller companies looking to excavate your pattern and practices, but the large tech companies are also the bigger offenders to advertise them to selling and research companies.
Do you know Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, and Google all are making cut rate mobile ads?
These companies tend to require location data to boost their ads. According to the tech persons, they don’t advertise data to anyone; instead, they use it to improve their algorithms and targeted advertisements. You may call it virtual competition as the huge tech companies try to gather as much user data as they can.
Apart from that, Google and Apple specifically have made it possible to bound location data compilation in their particular app stores, and they have modified their privacy rules accordingly.
How to Keep Apps from Tracking Your Location
Keep in mind that no specific list of the hundreds of apps exists that keep on evading your heels and profiting off your location data. Other than apps, The New York Times has made a separate list of the untold number of apps fall under the criteria.
They could even gather and save your data while keeping it safe, which shows that such apps would not have shown up in the Times’ tests.
Scraping Out of Databases
No doubt, we can turn off location sharing options and delete web history from our Mobile phones. However, still apps have already collected data about us and pushed away in their money-maker databases.
Due to the lack of transparency, you may find it truly difficult to access or delete the data from databases of companies.
Basically, no one likes to share location with some unknown party, neither I do. So, what should you do in this case?
It highly based on how much you are attracted to the app itself. If you are not one of those who care about it, you can immediately remove and get going with your life.
However, if you need to continue with the app as turning off location tracking off is the solution, then follow these steps:
For iOS Users
- Open the Settings App from your mobile phone.
- Scroll down unless you see the app you want to change
- Once you find it, click on it to open the Settings
- Click on the option when you see to modify the location settings
For Android Users
You can check the permission of apps on Android by following steps given below:
- Go to the Settings
- Open the Apps
- Select the app that you need to verify
- Click on Permissions
On this page, you will notice all the permissions that the app has, including Contacts, Microphone, Camera, Location, Storage, etc. you can cancel the permission just by switching off the option.
Also, keep in mind that all apps will not have that switch, and if any app does not show this switch, then you must be alert as it may be tracking your location and selling the location data. You should delete it instantly.
It is not a hidden thing that apps use your location data together with many other information. People, most of the time, just don’t care about these things while downloading any app from Play Store or Apple Store. People tend to focus on enjoying the features of the apps and don’t bother about their privacy.
However, a huge population still exists that doesn’t compromise over their privacy. People from around the whole world tend to consider many factors that can risk their safety and privacy. While downloading any sort of application, such people investigate all the details about the app. And if they find a single reason to avoid this app, they will quit. Sharing location with some stranger party is not an easy thing. It can be risky at times, and everyone needs to be careful before getting involved with unknown sources.