What Do Your Map Apps Know About You? 

We increasingly invite more technologies into our lives, from smart homes to Apple Watches. However, there is a tradeoff going on in our quest for convenience. Your personal data is very valuable to companies and even if you think you are being safe with your sharing, it might be a great time to double-check your settings.

If you ever use your phone or GPS to navigate to a new restaurant or location, you are most likely sharing information on your location and behavior. This visual created by The Zebra explains how three common navigation apps collect data and how they can use it. 

What your map apps know about you:

  • Where you live
  • Places you’ve visited
  • How long you’ve stayed at businesses
  • Travel patterns

Even if you aren’t very worried about the data companies collect on you, it’s best to be in the know. In most situations, your data is collected and then made anonymous before it is shared with other companies, usually for advertising purposes. However, this isn’t done for a malicious purpose. Google states that they use data to serve relevant and targeted ads. Rather than seeing ads for things you have no interest in, you’ll most likely see brands or products you’ve taken interest in. Although, sometimes companies like insurance agencies can determine where you live and what your commute is like, meaning they may give you different quotes. Do some extra research and make sure you’re getting fair quotes on any online purchases that could have been affected by your data. 

Even though it requires a little extra work on your part, you can disable location services if you feel uncomfortable. It’s important to keep in mind that data sharing can lend new ideas and patterns that can ultimately improve the larger landscape. 

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Featured Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo is a stalwart in the tech journalism community, has been chronicling the ever-evolving world of Apple products and innovations for over a decade. As a Senior Author at Apple Gazette, Kokou combines a deep passion for technology with an innate ability to translate complex tech jargon into relatable insights for everyday users.


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