What Happens to the GPS Location Information Collected on Your Smartphone?

 

geotagging smartphonesDid you know smartphones collect GPS location information? Even more surprising, newer smartphone models with the latest-generation cameras will broadcast GPS location information to your digital photos online. There’s many factors to consider when it comes to GPS data privacy while using your smartphone.

Here are 4 important facts about GPS data privacy to help you stay informed:

Electronics Store Your Location Information

A variety of devices store GPS data in numerous ways. Most smartphone users realize their location is being tracked, however, other devices, including digital cameras, also have the ability to track and add location data to photographs.

Location Information is Shared with Third Parties

Some control is offered through device settings and the user’s decision to install specific applications or not, but these security measures don’t guarantee that location information won’t be shared with third parties. To make matters worse, you won’t receive any type of alert or notification if your information is shared with third parties.

International Approaches to GPS Data Privacy Vary

The laws regarding your GPS data privacy will vary depending on your geographic location. For example, Mexico revised the Geolocalization Law to allow law enforcement to request and utilize geographic data from mobile service providers. In contrast, the European Commission’s Article 29 Working Party states that geolocation information may only be collected, shared, or stored with the individual’s consent.

Malware Developers Will Steal Geolocation Data

Malware developers will steal geolocation data to create more authentic emails. For example, a recent scam involved the use of geolocation data to send a malicious email around many countries in Europe. The email claimed to be from relevant law enforcement organizations for specific jurisdictions.

Disable Geotagging on Your Smartphone

If you want to keep your location information private, disable the geotagging option on your smartphone. For most smartphones, the geotagging option will be found in the camera or location settings. Also, it’s a good idea to read mobile app agreements to ensure you’re not sharing sensitive information with third parties.

To learn more about GPS data privacy and how to disable geotagging on your smartphone, give us a call or send us an email. Our team of mobility specialists can help you maintain your privacy while utilizing the latest technologies.

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