Your daily companion, your phone, has access to your location information and is aware of both your current position and previous locations. The fact that numerous third-party programmes may access this data from your phone if you feel that it violates your privacy is much worse. But don’t panic; we’ve created a guide that will show you how to disable apps from tracking your location.
Find out which apps have location data access, and which ones need it
Doing an audit of which applications actually have access to your location data would be a smart first step before you start denying apps access to it. The next step is to determine which of these apps genuinely requires your location data to operate. For instance, if you use Google Maps for navigation and other purposes, you probably want it to have access to your location data. The most popular apps that might be using your location data are listed below.
Social media apps: These are some of the most well-known location-tracking apps, and in many instances, tracking your location is absolutely unneeded. It could be a good idea to uninstall these apps if they are collecting your location information.
Ridesharing apps: In order for the drivers to know where to meet you, ridesharing applications like Uber and Ola must track your location. However, they might also continue to do it even if you haven’t reserved a ride. For these apps, there typically isn’t a decent way to disable location tracking without fully turning it off.
Streaming apps: Even streaming video services like Netflix and Prime Video will keep track of your location, usually to deal with geo-restricted content.
There may be many more different app categories that gather user location data; this is by no means a comprehensive list of the types of programmes that may be tracking your user data. However, once you have identified these applications and decided whether you want them to track your location, you can start preventing them from doing so.
How to restrict specific apps from accessing your location data on Android
If you choose, you can disable location access for all apps, but doing so may result in a loss of functionality for some or even a complete shutdown of some of them. Here’s how to prevent particular apps on your Android phone from accessing your location.
1. Go to settings
2. Click on the “Apps and notifications” option
3. Click “App Permissions”
4. Scroll down till you see the “Location” option and click on it
You will now be able to see every app that has access to your location. These apps typically fall into one of four categories: always allowed, allowed when in use, allowed only after asking for permission, and not allowed. Depending on your opinion of each app in its specific setting, you can move apps within these categories. Be aware that the procedure may slightly vary depending on the phone you are using, but it shouldn’t change too much from what was described above.
How to restrict specific apps from accessing your location data on iOS
On iOS, the procedure is similar: go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services to determine which applications can access your location, shut Location Service off completely, or do both.