Location is key in real estate transactions. However, location or more specifically, Location Services, are also key to the GPS function of our iPhones (any smart phone) and iPads. GPS stands for Global Positioning System and comes standard on all newer mobile phones and tablets. It’s what allows us to get turn-by-turn directions when using a maps app or ensures that our compass app works or helps us find a nearby restaurant on YELP. Here is a link to a good article that explains the GPS function, and also how our phones ping off towers to pinpoint our location: https://electronics.howstuffworks.com/gps-phone1.htm
Understanding how Location Services works is key to taking control of which apps are tracking where our phones and tablets are and maintaining some control over our privacy. Go to Settings and scroll down to Privacy and then tap on Location Services.
This image is from an iPad. The iPhone just has a single screen so you must tap on Privacy before you will see Location Services.
First, notice that in the image above Location Services has been activated. The button to the right is green. One might choose not to turn on Location Services, but then many apps like Maps would be useless. The app will not work unless it knows your location.
Secondly, look at the apps listed before tapping Location Services
These are apps requesting access to our data. Each one has a little arrow to the right that provides some choices.
When Camera is tapped, these choices appear. They are all apps that need the camera in order to work at full capacity.
Thirdly, look closely at the apps listed once Location Services has been tapped. These apps would like to know where you are for marketing purposes as well as functionality. There are choices to make as to when the app can access your location: Never, When Using, Always.
Next, did you know that your phone or tablet may be keeping track of every place you visit? Once Location Services is tapped and the long list of apps appears, scroll down to System Services and tap.
This screen should appear.
Scroll down to Significant Locations. If it is turned on, tap and you will see a list of places you have recently visited.
Tap on a location and specific details are shown.
Bottom line, we have some control over which apps track our location data and which do not. It’s a personal decision that each individual needs to consider. For example, some parents of young children turn off Location Services for the camera because they worry about providing too much information on social media. On the other hand, some folks like to keep Significant Locations on while traveling so they can find that neat art gallery or restaurant again. Remember, Location Services has to be on should you need to activate emergency features like SOS or 911.
Privacy issues give us a lot to think about. We have the ability to experiment and change our settings. We each have to decide on own privacy comfort level.
Here’s an amusing post that suggests some times when it is a really good thing to turn off Location Services! https://www.greenbot.com/article/2925062/10-times-when-location-services-will-thwart-you-efforts.html