Exact Locations in Social Media Apps Raise Privacy Concerns

With technology evolving, the exposure of data and what is collected about users and specific usage of devices and apps is growing.

Many apps already track user's location in order to optimize the efficiency of the app and knowledge it can provide based on a user's surroundings, however, social media apps like Facebook, Instagram (both owned by parent company Meta) and Twitter have now added a layer to location data for "precise location" for iPhone users.

This allows the apps to track every specific move throughout the day and is a concern if hackers can get into this data. As of now, the public does not have access to your exact coordinates on a map, however, this data can be utilized by advertisers for targeted ads as well as the apps themselves.

Here's how to disable the setting, which is automatically checked to allow the sharing of "Precise Location".

  1. Open 'Settings' in iOS
  2. Scroll to the app to adjust Location settings for*
  3. Click on 'Location'
  4. Toggle 'Precise Location' on the bottom to the off position

By turning off 'Precise Location' and simply selecting 'Location' level access, the app can only determine an approximate location of where the device is.

*It is always wise to check each of the app settings individually as well to see what each of the apps have access to the device. Some apps have access to all photos, microphone, camera and levels of data. Many apps can still function without the full selection of accessibility.

Social media platforms have a series of FAQs about location services, adjusting settings and privacy: Instagram HERE as well as Facebook HERE and Twitter HERE.

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