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Tracking of Android and iOS based smartphones and how to stop it

14 December, 2020 Web Tech

Tracking of Android and iOS based smartphones and how to stop it


One of the biggest concerns of the 21st century is Data Privacy. Applications that you have installed in your smartphone, ask you to allow them to have a peek into areas, which they feel needful. So, while you are watching something or surfing something on the Internet, it might be possible that someone running that application may have complete information about where you are and what you are doing. Allowing applications for all the permissions they ask is like giving remote controls to that application maker for our future navigation or deeds. And without knowing the person or algorithm which has the access to all this information, we cannot say whether we are in safe hands or not.


So, as recommended by many experts on the topic of data privacy, one is suggested to turn off the location feature on your phone, when not needed. This goes for any smartphone holder, be it Android or iPhone. In this article, we are going to discuss applications that need access to your location, and how to prevent an Android or an iPhone from seeking your location. First things first, we'll talk about the applications.


Phone apps that demand knowing the location of your device

We do not imply here that every application that asks you access to the location feature, asks you without a valid reason. There might be applications that genuinely need your permission for displaying the content accordingly. But we do imply that with these applications that genuinely need your permission, there might be several others that take benefit of your clicking on "yes"/ "always" when asked whether you allow the application to access your location. And we imply that it is important for you to know the difference between those applications.

  • The most common example that requires the location of your smartphone is Google maps.
  • Apart from Google, the applications which use Google Maps to ensure your transportation or some other things also fall under the category of applications that genuinely require access to your smartphone's location. And these applications are Uber, Lyft, etc. They need your location to figure out which driver is the nearest to you, from all.
  • Apart from the two categories of application, there are applications that, for offering your deals as well as coupons, ask for location access. This category of applications tries to take as much as data they can, for displaying your advertisements related to your area, as they have planned to display. So, they sometimes are known to customize the content for a specific user.
  • Then there are news and other weather-related applications that track your location data for providing specific information regarding your locality's news and weather.
  • You would be surprised to know that even streaming platforms such as Netflix, require your location. And the only logical reason why they do is, to make sure they are not violating the laws by letting you see a video that your government doesn't want you to see.
  • In case you are not yet able to know how Facebook is able to figure out who stays nearby you and precisely offer you his or her suggestion as a friend, it's because that application uses your location. And not only Facebook but almost every social media application also uses your location to offer you the best suggestions.
  • Spying applications, which are the most trending on the list of applications, are also known to use location tracking features. They do so for allowing the owners to real-time monitor a device, and indirectly the person who has the device at that moment. Some of the big names in this category of applications include Spyic and Cocospy, which permits a parent to monitor his or her kid, an employee to monitor employees and a lover to monitor partners.

How to prevent your Android or iOS from getting monitored?

Although this procedure needs to be specified from phone to phone, in general, it remains the same for Android as well as for the iPhone. You will have to go to the Settings tab of your Android phone, look for location, and toggle it from on to off. Once that is done, no applications will have access to your smartphones' location. Although this comes with a risk of not letting Google track your location even when it's stolen. But what good thing was ever risk-free?


In case you are an iPhone user and you wish to turn off your smartphone's location you can simply go to the Settings tab, select Privacy, in which you need to tap on Location Services and toggle the Services and turn it off. Doing so would impact some of the services such as Maps as well as find my iPhone, but as said earlier, no good thing is ever risk-free!


Things can also be done in a different way if you choose to restrict certain applications from using your location. This would mean that you are not asking all the applications that do not have access to your location, but only those applications about which you think, it is unnecessary for them to need access to your locations. This you can do by going to the Settings tab, select location, and then select app permissions. Under this category, you can toggle off the location permissions to the applications you do not wish to give away the locations.


The Conclusion

You are very responsible for toggling off and on permissions for any data that can be monitored and collected from your phone. So, it is getting important day by day to understand the complexity and concerns of the technology that you are using and the privacy you are allowed to enjoy by small toggling. Location is a very important criterion and giving access to it, to someone, means handing over some important part of the steering of your virtual car to some. This will not only let the steering holder turn wherever the steering holder feels it's okay to but in general giving all access to your virtual freedom to someone.


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