iPhone Has a List of Every Location You’ve Visited

Apple is widely regarded as a tech company that actually cares about privacy for people using its devices. However, using an iPhone over an Android device doesn’t guarantee you better privacy protection. One feature that concerns us from a privacy standpoint is the location suggestion feature. While Apple protects that location data with your passcode, FaceID or TouchID, if someone gets access to your device by cracking your passcode or other means, then they could figure out where you’ve been. Apple is still doing more to keep its users’ data privacy and secure than many other smartphone companies, but we’re sharing this information to keep you informed about the information stored on your iOS devices.

According to BGDLegal.com: “The use of location information has obvious implications in criminal investigations (i.e. placing Mr. Smith at the scene of the crime). However, it also has potentially wide-ranging — and expensive — implications for electronic discovery in civil litigation. So long as it is potentially relevant to the issues in a case, iPhone location history may be the subject of discovery requests in complex litigation matters.”

If government groups or law enforcement can determine that you were in the location of a crime, you could be flagged as potentially being involved. While this may seem like a good thing for catching criminals, it could also lead to more unfair policing by bringing unwarranted charges against individuals. If the information is stored on your device, it creates a vulnerability to leaking or being hacked. In the past year, there have been a few occasions when bugs affecting iOS have caused intrusions into people’s privacy.

How To Find Your Location History on Your iOS Device

If you’re using an iOS device and are concerned with keeping your location history private, we recommend that you check your location history to see if you’ve configured your device tracking settings correctly. You can opt-out of location tracking completely, but there are conveniences to allowing your iPhone to track where you go. For example, if your iPhone recognizes where you work and you’re getting in your car to drive to work, it can recommend the best route to take based on traffic patterns and congestion. Depending on how you’ve configured your iPhone’s “Location Services” your phone may be collecting different amounts of your data.

  1. Go To “Settings
  2. Select “Privacy
  3. Select “Location Services
  4. Scroll to the bottom and click on “System Services”.
  5. At the bottom, select “Significant Locations”. You’ll find your location history at the bottom, with location dates and names.
  6. You should now see the location data that your iPhone has collected.

How To Stop Your iPhone from Tracking Your Frequent Locations

  1. Go To “Settings”.
  2. Select “Privacy”.
  3. Then Select “Location Services”
  4. Scroll to the bottom and click on “System Services”.
  5. Select “Significant Locations
  6. Re-enter your passcode, use touch ID or FaceID to grant yourself access.
  7. Toggle the Significant Locationsswitch to the off position.

Should You Disable Location History?

If you’re concerned about having your location stored on your phone, you should definitely disable the built-in tracking functionality. If you aren’t worried about having this information stored on your iPhone or iPad, you may still want to go through your settings to make sure your level of privacy is where you want it. Another way to minimize this “data trail” is to clear your location history. You can do this by going to your “Significant Locations” and choosing “Clear History”. Keep in mind that if you have downloaded apps that use your location, they may also be storing that information.