Location tracking is becoming a thriving industry as more and more companies collect location data to sell. In 2021 the location tracking industry was valued at $12 billion, and this is just expected to grow.
It’s also not just websites and search engines that track you. Some of your favorite apps on your mobile will also track your location.
Despite being a thriving industry, it’s still quite difficult to understand exactly how the industry works and who the key players are.
Despite that, it’s becoming apparent that location tracking has become a real privacy concern for many individuals.
This increased risk to privacy has left many looking for ways to protect their online privacy, such as using an Android proxy, VPNs, private browsers, and more.
We’ll be covering the following topics regarding location tracking:
- What is location tracking?
- How is your location being tracked?
- Ways to protect your privacy
What Is Location Tracking?
Location tracking refers to specialized technology used to physically locate a person and electronically record and track their movements.
Location tracking is used every day whenever you’re searching for specific restaurants near you when you use navigation apps, and more.
While navigation apps and local shopping make it more convenient for people to get to and find the places they’re looking for, there is also a darker side to location tracking.
Many apps can track your location in the background even when not using it.
These apps can then record all the places you visit, shops, bars, restaurants, and even where you spend the night.
This information can then be sold and used in many different ways.
How Is Your Location Being Tracked?
The easiest and most accurate way to track your location is through GPR. GPR is a specialized technology that uses 24 satellites orbiting the earth to pinpoint the exact locations of certain fixed or mobile devices with GPS technology.
This is different from websites that track your online presence through cookies, IP addresses, and digital trackers in that these apps that track your physical location rely on the GPS.
In many cases, when you install this app, they will ask for permission for things like your location, your files, your photos, and more.
In many cases, we accept these without a second thought, not even realizing what exactly we’ve permitted to do.
However, in some cases, when you look at how the app uses your data, it can be very vague or unclear – which is the perfect time to become weary.
Apps for mobile devices are one of the best ways that location tracking occurs.
Since these devices are mobile and kept on your person, the location results are usually the most accurate.
While the Google Play Store and Apple App Store are trying to take steps by booting apps that include SDK (Software Development Kits) containing location trackers, the process is still quite slow.
Many location tracking apps are still ending up on these app stores.
The following entities all have access to your location data:
- Mobile phone carriers
- Operating systems
- Apps and app partners
- Location analytic providers
Ways To Protect Your Privacy
When it comes to privacy, one protection measure is usually not enough, and you’ll have to implement a couple of different tactics to ensure you protect your privacy.
Here are a few ways to start protecting your privacy and stop apps from tracking your location.
Proxies have quickly become one of the best ways to boost your online security and privacy.
An iOS and Android proxy can hide your IP address, bypass geo-restrictions, and stop your device from getting flagged.
Change Location Settings
Both Android and iOS devices record your location by default, and this feature is known as ‘Frequent Locations’.
This feature records everything about your daily life, where you work, where you stay, and even how long you spend at these locations.
It is possible to switch off this feature, but it’s not intuitive, and you’ll have to dig around in your phone settings to deactivate it and stop your device from recording your location.
Review Permissions Given
We already mentioned that many apps track your locations because they’ve been permitted to do so.
Therefore it’s a good idea to frequently review your permissions and disable tracking or access to your location and GPS.
While doing this, you might notice many apps asking to use your GPS when they don’t even require it.
For example, why would a camera app need access to your GPS?
Disable GPS When Not In Use
Finally, disable and turn off your GPS when you don’t need it.
Think carefully about when you really need your GPS. It’s probably when you use navigation services.
In this case, the GPS doesn’t need to be on all the time.
Privacy is becoming more of a luxury with each passing day.
Data has become so valuable that more ways are being created to collect data, such as location tracking.
However, you can use various methods, such as an Android proxy, reviewing permissions, and disabling GPS, to start protecting your privacy from location tracking apps and programs.