Do Facebook and Instagram track your precise location? Maybe. Here’s how to turn it off

Do instagram, Facebook and ICT Tac really keep track of your exact location? Yes, but that doesn’t mean stalkers and criminals can also see where you are.

A viral post making the rounds on Instagram and Twitter warns users that people can now find your exact location from Instagram due to a recent iOS update. The message claims that criminals use this location information to break into homes and cars – but that’s just a rumor, and that’s not how precise location works.

When you download a new app, you typically grant it access to various features of your iPhone, including your microphone, contacts, photos, camera, and location. For example, an app might request your location to provide directions or deliver food. However, apps can also use location information to collect data about where you are going and then sell that data to third parties who can use it to personalize ads for you.

With the release of iOS 14 in 2020, Apple changed the way users could manage their location information. Instead of letting apps see your exact coordinates, you can now turn off precise location tracking so apps only know roughly where you are.

Whether or not you’re worried about criminals or stalkers, you might still be spooked by the fact that social media can see everywhere you go. If you want to stop precise location tracking, here’s how to turn it off for any app on your iPhone.

Read more: A Sneaky Data Every iPhone Photo Gives (and How to Turn It Off)

How to turn off your exact location on your iPhone

To get started, make sure you’re updated to at least iOS 14, then head over to Settings application. Then scroll down and find the app you want to block from knowing your exact location, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or TikTok. Tap the app you’re looking for, then go to Location.

If you’ve granted this app access to your location, you’ll see a check mark next to Ask next time or when I share Where When using the app. Underneath you will see the “Precise location” function. To stop sharing your exact location with this app, turn off Precise location.

Precise location setting on iOS

Do not disable this feature for apps that require exact location, such as food delivery and navigation services.

Nelson Aguilar/CBS

Once disabled, the application you have selected will only have access to an approximate determination of your location. Precise Location uses GPS to track you down to the feet, while Approximate Location will use Wi-Fi and cellular data to place you somewhere within a circle about a mile or two in diameter.

Although most apps don’t need your exact location, be aware that if you disable this feature for apps that need your exact location to work – like Uber, Google Maps or Doordash – you might have trouble with these services.

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