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What data do you collect in your phone's location tracking apps?


Many of the applications you install in your phone, whether it's an Android phone or iPhone for the first time, offer you the option to request permission to track your location to provide you with the best experience, such as: navigation apps, weather, or food requests, while requiring such apps to track your location may be normal as this is part of the nature of its work.

But there are some apps that ask permission to track your location that's not necessary for their work, and they often want to collect your data for the purpose of selling it to ad companies, but have you ever wondered what data the location tracking apps collect in your phone?

According to a new study published by researchers Mirco Musolesi of The University of Bologna of Italy and Benjamin Baron of University College London, Uk, the personal data collected by these applications is highly sensitive.

The researchers used an app they developed specifically for this study, and up to 69 study participants installed the app on their phone for at least two weeks, in order to find out the amount of location data and personal information collected by these applications and the results were very terrifying.

During this time period, more than 200,000 sites were tracked, nearly 2,500 locations were identified and nearly 5,000 items of personal information on demographics and personality were collected, while the most sensitive data collected through the app related to their health, socioeconomic status, race, and religion.

"We think it's important to show users how much data is collected and how much data is collected, especially what apps can collect by tracking their location, and equally important to us is to understand whether users believe that sharing information with app developers or marketing companies is acceptable or a violation of their privacy," says Mirco Musolesi.

"This study could help shed light on the development of systems that can automatically prevent the collection of sensitive data from third parties — third parties — thanks to previously specified privacy settings, meaning that more applications can draw attention to the existence of location settings running, data collected, or show what violates user privacy."

What should you do to limit these apps from tracking your location?

If you don't want the apps you install on your phone collecting your data and personal information and tracking you, the best solution is to disable location services, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi connectivity when not in use, as well as give apps as few permissions as possible, activate browser privacy settings to block the use of location data, and use a trusted VPN.