Living in the Internet age, most of us are willing to give up a little privacy for the fun of using social media or the convenience of ordering pizza from our smartphones. If you’re an Apple user, you’re probably at least vaguely aware that your iPhone is collecting some information about you—but you might not realize just how far that data collection goes. Unless you spend a lot of time exploring your phone’s settings menu, you may not realize your iPhone has been automatically making a list of every single place you’ve ever gone.
Time reports that deep in your phone's settings, there’s an automated feature that not only tracks where you’ve gone, but records the number of times you’ve visited a given location, and how much time you’ve spent there. It even automatically identifies your work and home locations based on the hours you spend there. Which means anyone snooping around on your phone could figure out where you live, where you work, what hours you work (and even how long your lunch breaks are), and, of course, whether you’ve ever lied about your whereabouts to anyone. Any time you’ve made up a bogus excuse to get out of an event, or faked sick to go to the mall, the evidence of your fib is right there on your phone.
Thrillist explains that the locations data on your phone is ostensibly private; Apple claims data is ”kept solely on your device and won't be sent to Apple without your consent.” However, if you lose your phone—or have friends, parents, or a significant other who don’t respect your privacy—anyone who knows where to look can find out quite a bit of information about you. Here’s how to view your frequent locations list and, if you want to, turn it off:
1. Go to Settings and select Privacy.
2. Select Location Services.
3. Scroll down and select System Services.
4. Scroll down and select Frequent Locations.
5. Select Clear History and turn off Frequent Locations by swiping the tab left.