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Your iPhone is tracking everywhere you go: Here's how to find the setting

Submitted by: Daryl Haegley Director, Mission Assurance & Cyber Deterrence at the DOD and (CS)²AI Fellow

By Kim Komando 9/08/20

At this point, digital privacy is long gone. There’s always another device, feature or service tracking what we say, what we look at online and the places we go.

Ever wonder how your iPhone is able to automatically pull up directions to work when you get in the car? Or when you leave for the day, do you wonder how your phone knows you’re heading home?

It’s not only part of location services but a separate and more in-depth thing called “Significant Locations.” Prepare yourself for a shock when you look at yours.

Want to know how to access it and, if you’d like, turn it off?

Here are your steps:

  1. Open your iPhone’s settings;

  2. Tap on Privacy;

  3. Select Location Services;

  4. Then tap System Services;

  5. Scroll down until you see Significant Locations and tap on that After entering your password or opening up your phone with FaceID, you’ll see a list of locations you’ve visited.

Now, some of them may seem a bit off to you, but that’s because the location is not always precise. Tap on a place and it will open up a page with more specifics, including a map.

Even if it didn’t peg you exactly right, it will have you in the area. Individually, you can edit locations so they will no longer be stored in your phone.

To do that, tap on any city it had you in.

Then, on the next screen, tap on the “Edit” button in the upper right-hand corner.

That will bring about a red circle next to the location, which you can then tap on to remove it.

If you’d like to turn off Significant Locations altogether, you just need to scroll to the top of the page that lists the city locations and tap on the green button on the top-right in the tab.

Stop tracking: If you use Google Maps, you may want to shut down that tracking, too. Tap or click to turn off Google location tracking for good.

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