SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – There’s growing concern over a hidden smartphone feature that tracks your every move: where you sleep, eat, work, or shop.
The location services on your smart phone help you do a lot faster and easier: find the address of a meeting, or the closest gas station while you’re on the road. But even when you’re not tracking specific information, your phone is still tracking you.
I tried it out with my phone. Within seconds I found a map that showed all the addresses in Boston where I was on assignment Monday, my and my parents’ home addresses, even a trip I took out of the country recently, and the exact times I was in all of those locations.
Other people were just as surprised.
I showed Shelby Fontaine of Springfield how it works on her iPhone. Go to Settings, Privacy, Location Services, System Services, and Frequent Locations. We found it all: her home, grandma’s house, even restaurants visited during spring break in Florida. She said it’s scary all that information could end up in a stranger’s hands.
Fontaine said, “Here’s a GPS to my house or school. I would never think of that. I’d more think of my text messages and pictures. Never my actual location. Plus I didn’t know that was even there.”
Chicopee Police told 8News sister station 22News it can be just as dangerous in the hands of someone you know.
Officer Mike Wilk said, “If there was a couple who had a domestic situation and broke up, and they knew each other’s passwords and user names, you could track that person exactly where they are and where they’re going.”
Wilk pointed out that location features can be really helpful: finding someone who’s lost or recovering a stolen device. Just another example of the double edged sword created by technology.
Apple said they use the information to serve you better, and it stays on your device. As for your Android phone, the location data gets sent to Google.