Discover how smartphones tracking your every move. And learn how to stop it.

Discover how smartphones tracking your every move. And learn how to stop it.


Smartphones are all the rage nowadays because for those belonging to the upper-end of tech-savvy, nothing else will do. But having a smartphone also comes with a price. For example, not only do you have to pay lump sum data bills if you want to utilize all aspects of your phone like live TV streaming, skyping, etc. Nowadays, more and more smartphone users are waking up against the latent location tracking services that are run by the smartphone OS giants, Google and Apple.

1 Why it matters

The ironic part of having a smartphone is that the phone lacks the smartness required to exhibit discretion. Be it an iPhone or an Android smartphone, our entire itinerary is uploaded to the clouds for our own safekeeping purposes. Again, the need for discretion is brought to the forefront; the need for privacy from your own smartphone which starts shadowing your location. For some it is a nuisance; they are not smart enough to be aware and their entire existence is just sitting up in the clouds for any one mining data for hitherto unknown number of purposes. This is kind of expected once you buy a smartphone and are provided with a personal login-detail that attaches you to whichever vendor you visit: Apple or Google. For some this might be an unwelcomed fact they might not be aware of, while for some smartphone users it maybe an annoyance they can’t feel indifferent enough about. Knowing how to turn off their location tracking maybe a sigh of relief for them, or a head start on paranoia.

Why it matters

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2 Hiding from the Android

Google location services are responsible for tracking your daily travelogue and updating your trail across the day, to your regular haunts or even to whimsical detours for your safekeeping or someone’s record keeping purposes. At times, the data from the map is not feasible with locations you haven’t travelled, popping up alongside the ones where you traveled to. Regardless if erasing traces of your steps is your fancy, then the following tips should be of help to you:

  1. Go to Network Connections
  2. Choose Location.
  3. Choose Google Location History.
  4. Approve the Delete Location History option.
  5. Turn off the switch so that it is grey on Location marking, as in ‘OFF’.

Some Android users have complained of the setting turning back on itself but the claims are not really
substantiated. If you want to beat the “Location Services” in an alternate, less surefire way then you can simply keep “Use Wireless Networks” turned off from your “Location and Security” options. This prevents Google from tracking your accurate location. In case you wish to remove the old locations from record, you have to avail the assistance of a rooted device application like “Location Cache” app. This will enable you to view all your past locations mapped and then you can go ahead and disable the cache for good.

Hiding from the Android

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3 Will Adam bite the Apple?

The same issues persist with iOS too. So if you’re looking to prevent iOS from constantly updating and recording your location, the following steps can be undertaken:

  1. Head over to the Settings menu.
  2. Enter Privacy.
  3. Select Location Services from the list.
  4. Next find and select System Services.
  5. Finally, select Frequent Locations
  6. Scrolling down to the bottom would reveal the number of locations that have already been recorded.

If you think this alone should take care of Apple stalking you wherever you go, then you are mistaken. Apple has a two-fold measure for this service; one was the service we just stopped. Besides recording your location data and storing it on their servers, Apple also saves the data on your phone and computer. In order to completely erase your presence from these records you need to disable those as well.

This occurs due to the fact that iOS has a habit of synching A-Z all data on iTunes. This means that the service comes bundled with the operating system and can only be bypassed by jailbreaking it. Jailbreaking enables you to stop this service altogether. A good alternative for such an application would be “Untracked.” This application not only prevents the “Frequent Locations” register from being emptied, but is also hassle-free enough to run on its own volition without any trace. It runs in the background and monitors for any addition to the location cache. Once the condition matches, the location does the needful.

Will Adam bite the Apple

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<4 Is it really worth the fight?

This would be objective to say the least. The motive with which each person uses their smartphone is different so there is no foolproof way to say if Android or iOS are sitting and picking odds at what the customer would rather want. The location services are here to stay. The fact that our Google account usage or Apple account usage is tracked by either services for their data mining purposes is no secret. Those who feel that this violates their privacy should definitely opt for the methods cited above for the purpose of getting rid of their tail. However, it should also be kept in mind that this services have been created for the safekeeping purpose of the phone. Not only that, in case of any mishap, the tracking is also meant to aid in locating the owner of the number. To this effect, turning off the location tracking services is not recommended. It is a double-edged sword either way because gaining your peace of mind also means jailbreaking or rooting your phone which also means it falls out of warranty the next second.

Is it really worth the fight

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About the author / 

Arkadeep Deb

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