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How to stop your iPhone from tracking your every move

iPhone Locations Services

Every few months, iPhone users around the world begin to panic yet again as a new round of tech blog coverage reminds us that Apple’s iPhone tracks our every move as part of a “Frequent Locations” feature. The potentially nifty feature allows iOS to monitor your position in order to determine places you visit most frequently, and this data could really come into play in future versions of Apple’s mobile platform by allowing your iPhone to present location-specific information that could be useful, perhaps similar to Google Now. Those concerned with privacy, however, likely want nothing to do with Apple’s Frequent Locations feature — and of course, disabling it couldn’t be easier.

It is somewhat troubling to many users that so much location data is collected by the iPhone without users first having to opt in. This is a valid point, of course, but concerns are likely a bit overblown each time tech blogs rehash the story.

The latest round of coverage comes from BuzzFeed and Business Insider, so we thought we would remind everyone how to disable Frequent Locations before things get out of hand yet again.

As we first noted back in August last year when users on a German security forum brought attention to the Frequent Locations feature even before iOS 7 was released to the public, disabling the feature takes just a few seconds.

In the Settings app on your iPhone, go to Privacy and then Location Services. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the list and tap on System Services. Now simply tap Frequent Locations and disable the “Improve Maps” and “Frequent Locations” options.

That’s it.

Beyond making you more comfortable in knowing that your phone is no longer recording location data, disabling Frequent Locations may also have a slight positive impact on battery life. For more on improving your phone’s battery life, check out these 15 tips for squeezing as much battery life as possible out of your iPhone.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content.

Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment. His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.