This New iOS Feature Lets You Know When Apps Track Your Location — And How To Stop Them

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Apple is expected to release its latest operating system upgrade this September and when it does, a whole new set of features will be available for your iPhone. In particular, there will be enhanced privacy settings that will give you more control over how location services are being used on your device. For example, if you want to stop apps from tracking your location, iOS 13 gives you a few more options than previous iterations of iOS.

If you want to completely stop applications from tracking your location in iOS 13, the process will be identical to the one used in older operating systems, TechCrunch noted. To accomplish this, you can either turn off all location services on your phone or individually turn off location services for certain apps, CNBC noted. As the outlet described, to shut off your location services altogether, you simply open your phone's settings, select "privacy," tap "location services," and toggle location services off.

CNBC added that if you want to completely turn off location services for some apps and not others, remain in the location services tab, but instead of toggling location services off, scroll down. As you do so, you will see a list of the applications on your phone. For each application that you want to disable location services, simply tap that specific app and select "never," CNBC noted.

However, keep in mind that some apps, like maps or rideshare services, need to know your location in order to work properly. If you'd still like to use these apps, but want to limit their ability to track your location, there's an easy way to do so — and iOS 13 allows you to be even more precise in determining when apps track your location. As TechCrunch described, when you're in the location services tab, you can also select "while using" or "just once" when determining location services access for each app, in addition to the "never" option mentioned above. "While using" is a current option for iPhone users, but the "just once" option will be offered as part of iOS 13.

As TechCrunch indicated, the "just once" option means that you can momentarily give an app access to your location, but it will have to ask you each time it wants to use your location again in the future. The outlet indicated that this new feature will be useful for people who want to use the services offered by apps that require your location, but who also want to have more of a say in exactly when these apps can use their data.

Finally, iOS 13 will also offer some new insights into what apps are doing with your location data, which may ultimately influence whether you allow them to keep accessing it. As CNET indicated, with the new operating system, Apple will send you occasional alerts about how many times an app has used your location in a given number of days — and it will show you a map of where the app has accessed your location. The outlet added that the alert will also give you a brief overview of why and how the app is using your location. Moreover, it will ask you if you want to keep or change your app-specific location settings in light of this information, CNET added.

It's clear that iOS 13 is prioritizing choice when it comes to app privacy settings, especially those involving location tracking. For many iPhone users, these new options will be a welcome addition.

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