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Privacy

How to see the secret map tracking everywhere you go

At this point, the idea of privacy in our digital world seems like, at best, a farce. As we continue to learn about our devices, we see more and more that they are tracking us in many ways, including some that we never thought of.

Our iPhones are no different. Even without help from apps like Facebook, they do a good job of following your every move. Tap or click here for 10 Facebook privacy and security settings to change now.

This information probably isn’t enough to make you want to ditch your phone, but it’s certainly something you should know about. Here’s how to access the secret map keeping track of where you go, plus steps for disabling it.

There are no secrets kept from an iPhone

At least, not in terms of where you have been. Ever wonder how your iPhone can automatically pull up directions to work when you get in the car? Or when you leave for the day, how it knows you are heading home?

It’s not only part of location services, but a separate and more in-depth thing called Significant Locations.

Want to know how to access it and, if you’d like, turn it off? Here are the steps:

  • Open your iPhone’s settings.
  • Tap Privacy.
  • Select Location Services.
  • Scroll down and tap System Services.
  • Scroll until you see Significant Locations and tap 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 a page with more specifics, including a map that shows where it thought you were. It would have you in the area even if it didn’t peg you exactly right.

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How to protect your privacy

It’s possible to eliminate your Significant Locations history. Here’s how:

  • Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services, then tap Significant Locations.
  • Tap Clear History. This action clears all your significant locations on any devices that are signed in with the same Apple ID.

If you don’t want your iPhone to keep track of your whereabouts, you can disable Significant Locations. Here’s how:

  • Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services, then tap Significant Locations.
  • Slide the toggle next to Significant Locations to the left to disable the setting.

Why does the phone track us like this?

According to Apple, this feature exists so the phone can learn places that are significant to us and therefore be able to provide personalized services, like predictive traffic routing and improved Photos Memories.

That said, it seems like an invasion of privacy and could lead to real problems. If the phone is tracking our whereabouts, who else may know about them?

According to Apple, no one. It says the data that goes between your cloud-connected devices is encrypted. Unless someone steals your phone and password, there is nothing they can do to access it.

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