We all have that nagging feeling in the back of our minds that allowing tracking location on your device is just not right. Someone has got to be doing something with it, right? Well, here is a really interesting article from VICE magazine explaining what happens to your location data. It really is quite scary.
The US Military is buying the location data of private individuals around the world. Yes, the US Military now has movement information and location data about both US and non-US citizens around the world.
It has been identified that these data sales use information from a number of different but very popular and seemingly harmless apps. Unfortunately, we don’t currently have the official name of any of these apps but they include , a dating app, a ‘level’ app (that helps ensure an item is level), a craigslist app, a weather app and many others.
We have learned before that the government obtains certain information via data purchases that it can not legally collect itself. But this time it’s gone a step further and passed through the boundaries of law, moving swiftly into the hands of military agencies. These agencies have found a way to access very sensitive information that usually would require a warrant.
We already know that many companies are willing to sell this data to these agencies. However, often companies do not release who this information is being sold to. Even in cases where individuals thoroughly examine apps policies, it can still be unclear exactly where the information goes and who it goes too.
Here is a link to the article written by Joe Cox from VICE explaining what happens to your location data. It really is quite scary and well worth a read – https://www.vice.com/en/article/jgqm5x/us-military-location-data-xmode-locate-x
What can you do to protect yourself:
The best way to stop yourself from being tracked is to not use a smartphone at all but this is not possible for most people so please make sure that you:
- Turn off your location data unless absolutely necessary.
- Do not agree for apps to turn on your location data.
- If you must use an app that requires location data, only allow it to use this information when you are using the app.
- Set all your apps location data to OFF.
Remember, if your phone, smart watch etc was there, you were there.
Thanks and let me know if you need any information on this.
Incognito Privacy Care Team