Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.

heycal

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 25, 2013
820
21
I have an iphone 6. A got a message from a friend today who owns an android saying "I was changing your picture in my phone and saw that I had "Location" contact for you and [xxxxx]. I hit it and it showed me a google map earth of where you are. What is that????"

I realize there is a 'find my friends' feature on my phone that I don't use, and it shows me "not sharing location", and my friend does not have an iphone anyway.

So what is going on? A) How do I prevent people from seeing where I am? B) How can I see where they are without both of us having iphones and enabling find my friends?
 

heycal

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 25, 2013
820
21
Go to the details in the text message and tap stop sharing my location. It's off by default, you have to press it to turn it on. For family sharing it's enabled for all family members.
Go to the details in the text message and tap stop sharing my location. It's off by default, you have to press it to turn it on. For family sharing it's enabled for all family members.

The message came via email. But in any case, when I go to the last text message from that friend and press details, my choices are "send my location" or "Share my location". That implies I'm not currently sharing it I'm assuming?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jychow

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
51,388
19,455
Check Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services > Share My Location (and/or Settings > iCloud > Share My Location)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Chatter

heycal

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 25, 2013
820
21
Check Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services > Share My Location (and/or Settings > iCloud > Share My Location)

Thanks. It's already off in both places.
 

heycal

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 25, 2013
820
21
If this was with a non-iPhone device, perhaps it's tied to Google in some way, if you are using some services, like, for example, as described at http://support.google.com/plus/answer/4426688 and http://support.google.com/plus/answer/2998354

I don't have any google+ stuff that I know of, and my general google location services don't seem to be set up in any way that anyone could see where I was.
[doublepost=1464966820][/doublepost]
Geo Tag was my initial thought as well
I suggest turning off location services for any app that doesn't absolutely need to have access to your location, and even for those, set it to only "while using" if possible.

The photo must have had a geo tag...

Geo Tag was my initial thought as well

My location services are generally pretty well locked down. My instinct when setting up a phone is to lean towards more privacy than less, and less battery drain. There does not appear to be any obvious suspects.

But this geo tag thing theory is interesting. What is that exactly, and how might it have revealed my location on google earth? (I've asked my friend to try and recreate the conditions under which she saw this info and to look for it again, but she says she does not know how to do so.)
 

Mlrollin91

macrumors G5
Nov 20, 2008
13,982
9,859
Ventura County
A geo-tag is geographical data stored to the photo itself. If you go into your camera roll or look at saved photos, it will show the location of where the photo was taken.
 

heycal

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 25, 2013
820
21
A geo-tag is geographical data stored to the photo itself. If you go into your camera roll or look at saved photos, it will show the location of where the photo was taken.

The photo does indeed show the location. Maybe that picture somehow lead my friend to google earth, and while she could see where the photo location was on a map, she could not truly tell where I was at any given time?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Armen

joeblow7777

macrumors 604
Sep 7, 2010
6,888
8,276
A geo-tag is geographical data stored to the photo itself. If you go into your camera roll or look at saved photos, it will show the location of where the photo was taken.

Which is why the camera is the very first app that I always make sure location services is disabled for. Otherwise, there's embedded location data for every photo you take, even when you post it online or send it to someone.
 

Mlrollin91

macrumors G5
Nov 20, 2008
13,982
9,859
Ventura County
The photo does indeed show the location. Maybe that picture somehow lead my friend to google earth, and while she could see where the photo location was on a map, she could not truly tell where I was at any given time?

If its truly jus the geo-tag, then know, she could not find you at any given time.

Which is why the camera is the very first app that I always make sure location services is disabled for. Otherwise, there's embedded location data for every photo you take, even when you post it online or send it to someone.

I never disable it. I like to organize my photos by location of where they were taken, so this is extremely helpful and useful to me. I couldn't care less if I post a photo and someone see's the geo-tag information. Photos that I usually post are in locations that I have 'checked-in', so why do I care? Even without a geo-tag, someone can deduce where the photo came from.
 

heycal

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 25, 2013
820
21
Hopefully it's just this geo-tag photo stuff. I will consider the pros and cons or turning that feature off. It's helpful sometimes, but good to remember if one has it turned on. As long as someone can't truly track my location, that's the important thing.
 

off_piste

macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2015
762
479
Hopefully it's just this geo-tag photo stuff. I will consider the pros and cons or turning that feature off. It's helpful sometimes, but good to remember if one has it turned on. As long as someone can't truly track my location, that's the important thing.
I leave it on.

Vast majority of people you send photos to you don't care or even would like them to know that information. Second, sites like Facebook automatically strip the metadata (exif) from photos before posting. Finally, in the rare instances you're sending it to a stranger you can remove exif data via various websites and programs. iOS has one called ViewExif.
 

bufffilm

Suspended
May 3, 2011
4,227
2,536
Which is why the camera is the very first app that I always make sure location services is disabled for. Otherwise, there's embedded location data for every photo you take, even when you post it online or send it to someone.

Photo metadata has been around for many years now (well before smartphones). If anyone doesn't know about this and that your phone captures this info, I'd suggest you educate yourself pronto.

There may be many reasons why one would be concerned having this info shared or even on.

I'll give you one example: a hobby of mine is collecting watches. Very popular to post snapshots of your watch (of the day) on various forums. Your call on whether you want that metadata included with your pictures.

The very thing that makes it easy to group and categorize your photos also can potentially be used to harm.

The amount of info people give out, whether intentional or not, via the internet thru social media and other avenues, etc may surprise (and shock you).

And people wonder why someone was hacked, identity stolen, home burglarized, fraudulent scams, people stalked, etc...it happens all the time. (Cases of people vacationing and posting fun vacay photos online and telegraphing that their home was empty.)

And I would venture to say, that some of that is made possible because people were careless, trusting, uninformed, etc.
 
Last edited:

heycal

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 25, 2013
820
21
So my friend is reporting that the other person her phone indicated location for did not have a photo at all with her contact info. She says she will try and explain more in person, if she can. I will update with any relevant info after that. In the meantime, here is her response when I asked her to try and recreate what she saw/happened:

"What you're not getting is that in my contacts was two additional listings for you called "[heycal] Location" no photo was next to those listings. The reason I noticed them is because I had to go into my long list of contacts to change your photo and then saw them under your regular contact tab. I clicked on the heycal Location one and a map popped up, I closed it and deleted both those tabs. I then searched my contacts for "Location" and found that I had and additional entry for [xx] as well "XX Location" which I then deleted. I think it is something related to google. I looked at the facebook location thing and that was something diffent."
 
Last edited:

heycal

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 25, 2013
820
21
Further update: I talked to my friend. She said she not only did clicking on my location show her a location on Google Earth, but in another place she could see my location history! She saw at least three places I've been recently -- and one of the places she named (my gym) I've never even taken a photo at, much less sent her one. So that seems to eliminate any geo-tag photo theories.

This is very strange and concerning to me, and maybe should be to others as well. What is going on?
 

Black Magic

macrumors 68030
Sep 30, 2012
2,667
1,342
Go to Settings>Privacy>Location Services and post a screenshot here. I'm guessing one of your apps is providing this info to her. If it is not your phone then it is a laptop, tablet or some other device you have used providing this data.
 

heycal

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 25, 2013
820
21
Go to Settings>Privacy>Location Services and post a screenshot here. I'm guessing one of your apps is providing this info to her. If it is not your phone then it is a laptop, tablet or some other device you have used providing this data.

It would take a few screenshots to show them all. I can do that if you think it would be truly helpful. Most are set to "while using".

Interestingsly, Under system services, I noticed almost all are turned on, including one called "share my location" as well as "frequent locations". It does not indicate what would be sharing my location, with who, or how.
 

Black Magic

macrumors 68030
Sep 30, 2012
2,667
1,342
It would take a few screenshots to show them all. I can do that if you think it would be truly helpful. Most are set to "while using".

Interestingsly, Under system services, I noticed almost all are turned on, including one called "share my location" as well as "frequent locations". It does not indicate what would be sharing my location, with who, or how.

Yea, none of that stuff under system services should be an issue. I do turn off iADs in there though. If you scroll all the way down on that page you can turn Status Bar notification so that if something is using the location feature you will know. It even provides a color legend at the bottom of that screen.

I don't think your phone is being tracked but I think you may have used Google Earth or something similar that shared your location to friends before. If she was tracking your location, you should go to the store and ask her to provide your location real time. That should provide some clarity.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jychow and Tycho24

heycal

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 25, 2013
820
21
Yea, none of that stuff under system services should be an issue. I do turn off iADs in there though. If you scroll all the way down on that page you can turn Status Bar notification so that if something is using the location feature you will know. It even provides a color legend at the bottom of that screen.

I don't think your phone is being tracked but I think you may have used Google Earth or something similar that shared your location to friends before. If she was tracking your location, you should go to the store and ask her to provide your location real time. That should provide some clarity.

I'm not sure I've ever used google earth on my phone, but maybe.

I should go to what store and ask who to provide my location?

My friend has some Virgin Mobile android, and she can't seem to recreate or find any of the stuff she saw. I really wish she had paid better attention to it while she had it...
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.