All smartphones track their users by default – including iPhones. Normally this location data is encrypted and should remain private. But it can allow someone with malicious intent (whether you know them or not) to trace a person’s whereabouts. This could, for example, help to uncover an adulterous affair, or another corner of the user’s secret garden.
On iPhone, Apple explains “Your iPhone and iCloud-connected devices keep a history of places you’ve recently visited, as well as how often and when you visit, so you know the important places in your life. This data is end-to-end encrypted and cannot be read by Apple. They are used, for example, to provide you with personalized services, such as intuitive routes, and to create better memories in Photos”.
How to turn off location history on your smartphone
On Android, it is mainly the Timeline functionality that tracks the user’s location by default. Android allows you to check your trips on a given date in the famous Timeline. Again, this location data makes it possible to deliver recommendations of places you visit often, but also to give you the ideal time at which you should leave home to be on time for work.
Google Photos also uses this data to automatically create albums based on the places you visit. As we can see, this functionality is not purely tracking and is justified by the wide range of contextual recommendations that smartphones and voice assistants can deliver in 2022. In both cases, it is possible to deactivate this history – but you have to immediately understand that any deactivation will be felt in the user experience because many features (Photos, recommendations, etc.) depend on it.
Disable or Delete Location History on iPhone
On iPhone the procedure is very simple:
- Go into Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services
- Touch Important places
- From there you can both consult and delete the history
You can also completely disable the default location service. For it :
- Go into Settings > Privacy > Location Services
- Disable Location service
Turn off or delete location history on Android
On Android smartphones, the procedure is also relatively trivial:
- Go into System > Location > Location Services > Google Location History
- You can then delete the data, and completely disable background tracking on your device.
Have you managed to deactivate the endless recording of your location on your smartphone? Tell us how the disappearance of certain features bothers you on a daily basis.