Is my phone telling people where I am??

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by heycal, Jun 2, 2016.

  1. heycal macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 25, 2013
    #1
    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?
     
  2. kch50428 macrumors 6502

    kch50428

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  3. heycal thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 25, 2013
    #3
    I'm certainly not purposefully allowing anyone with any kind of phone from seeing where I am. How do I disable this?
     
  4. mildocjr macrumors 65816

    #4
    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.
     
  5. heycal thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 25, 2013
    #5
    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?
     
  6. C DM macrumors Westmere

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    Oct 17, 2011
    #6
    Check Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services > Share My Location (and/or Settings > iCloud > Share My Location)
     
  7. heycal thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    Thanks. It's already off in both places.
     
  8. C DM macrumors Westmere

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    Oct 17, 2011
    #8
  9. joeblow7777 macrumors 601

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    Sep 7, 2010
    #9
    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.
     
  10. sweet_man macrumors newbie

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  11. rugmankc Contributor

    rugmankc

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    #11
    Geo Tag was my initial thought as well
     
  12. heycal thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 25, 2013
    #12
    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.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 3, 2016 ---
    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.)
     
  13. Mlrollin91 macrumors G4

    Mlrollin91

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    Ventura County
    #13
    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.
     
  14. heycal thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 25, 2013
    #14
    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?
     
  15. joeblow7777 macrumors 601

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    Sep 7, 2010
    #15
    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.
     
  16. Mlrollin91 macrumors G4

    Mlrollin91

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    #16
    If its truly jus the geo-tag, then know, she could not find you at any given time.

    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.
     
  17. heycal thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 25, 2013
    #17
    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.
     
  18. off_piste macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 25, 2015
    #18
    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.
     
  19. bufffilm, Jun 3, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2016

    bufffilm macrumors 68040

    bufffilm

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    #19
    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.
     
  20. heycal, Jun 3, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2016

    heycal thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 25, 2013
    #20
    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."
     
  21. heycal thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 25, 2013
    #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?
     
  22. Black Magic macrumors 68000

    Black Magic

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    Sep 30, 2012
    #22
    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.
     
  23. heycal thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 25, 2013
    #23
    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.
     
  24. Black Magic macrumors 68000

    Black Magic

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    Sep 30, 2012
    #24
    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.
     
  25. heycal thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 25, 2013
    #25
    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...
     

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