What if I told you that your iPhone is secretly documenting your every step, to every location you visit, all without your knowledge or consent? Well it is, folks — your iPhone has been secretly tracking your movements, fresh out of the box — and you’ve had absolutely no idea!
Truth is, back in 2013 when Apple originally released iOS 7, the company enabled an undisclosed, hidden feature known as Frequent Locations — which is tucked away in the depths of iOS 7’s (and later) Privacy > Location Services sub-menus.
What this feature does, in essence, is allow iOS’ Location Services to track and document the time and frequency of every place you visit. So, for example, by following the steps listed below, you’ll be able to see a complete list of every location you’ve been recently, how many times you’ve been there, and at what times.
Apple swears that none of the data collected by Frequent Locations is stored on its servers, or accessible by anyone other than the end user. In fact, Apple states that the data collected is used exclusively to improve your experience using iOS 10’s new Notification Center and Today View.
I think it’s understandable, of course, if some of you aren’t so keen on the idea of your iPhone tracking your every move — and so, for that reason, we’re also going to walk you through the process of turning Frequent Locations off.
First things first: to view Frequent Locations on your iPhone, navigate to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > scroll down and select System Services > select Frequent Locations. It is within this Frequent Locations sub menu that all your location information is plotted and stored. To view detailed maps of all locations visited, select a city from the list. You’ll also be able to view additional information, such as number of visits to and precise times that each location was visited.
And for those of you feeling even the slightest bit creeped out by the thought of Apple tracing your every step, feel free to turn Frequent Locations off by following the steps outlined below:
Navigate to Settings > Privacy > select Location Services > scroll down and select System Services. From there, scroll down and select Frequent Locations, and then flip the toggle to off. Finally, tap the Clear History button to delete all pre-existing saved location data.
Above mentioned directions will help you sleep better at night if you are concerned with security. We feel strongly that our users should be informed properly so they can make better personal decisions as a result of this information. While majority of us pay close attention to protecting our information, we recently conducted a poll discovering that 10% of our subscribers don’t even lock their iPhones. To read the threats this (in)action imposes, continue here.
Were you aware that your iPhone was tracing your every step? Let us know in the comments!