Stop apps from following your location: Rita’s iDevice Advice for October 7, 2019
There is a new suite of privacy tools in Apple’s latest mobile software, from minimizing location sharing to silencing robo calls. it is wise to keep the software for your devices updated. For iPhones, that’s especially true now. That’s because Apple’s iOS 13, the most recent mobile software for iPhones has arrived. the features in the iOS software update offer many new tools that help safeguard our digital privacy. There are several new privacy features.
Note These instructions were written for sighted persons, who are not using voiceOver. If you are using VoiceOver: when the instructions say “Tap on an item”, perform a one finger double tap
Unknown to many of us, thousands of apps have been collecting our location data and selling the information to advertisers, retailers and hedge funds. New buttons in iOS 13 help address this issue. In the past, when opening a newly downloaded app that wanted access to your location, you had the option of always sharing location data, sharing it only when the app was in use or never sharing location. Now when you open an app that is asking for your location, you can tap ‘Allow Once. If you tap it, you are explicitly giving the app permission to share your location that one time. That eliminates the app’s ability to continue pulling your location data in the background when you are not using it.
iOS 13 now requires that apps ask for permission to gain access to your Bluetooth sensor, the chip that you typically use to wirelessly connect to accessories like earphones. That can stop many retailers and brands that have deployed Bluetooth-sensing beacons throughout their physical stores from knowing when you have entered their location. For apps that clearly don’t use this sensor for anything other than detecting your location. You may choose to reject access. There’s one more important new feature in iOS 13 related to location sharing that has to do with your camera. When you take photos, the camera records metadata by default, including where the photo was taken. Photo apps use this feature to automatically organize your photo albums by place. But if you share an image containing location metadata on social media or in messages, you could give away sensitive information like where you live or work. With iOS 13, you can strip metadata from a photo before sharing it. In the Photos app, you choose the photo and tap the icon of a square with an arrow pointing upward. Then click Options, and for the option that says Location, switch it to the off position. Then you can share the photo without revealing your whereabouts.
There are new controls for limiting the location data shared with apps so you can better protect your privacy. You can allow apps to access your location one time only, and Apple will provide more notice when apps are using your location in the background.
In iOS 13, users have more control over how and when apps access their location data. There’s a new option to allow an app to use a person’s location just one time, with a requirement to ask again when the next time it wants to use location data.
Apple is also now sending notifications when apps are using location data in the background, so you can choose to turn off location tracking for that app if desired. When you receive these notifications, you’ll see just how much location data has been collected, and where it was collected.