NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Do you ever get the sense that an app on your phone seem to know a lot about where you happen to be at any given moment?
It turns out there are more apps collecting your location data than you might expect.
Believe it or not, some apps grab your location from your phone’s GPS as many as 70 times a day.
We’re not talking about weather apps that give you local data and send out warnings about severe storms or traffic apps that get you where you need to go.
You expect those apps to know where you are. But what about the ones you use for dating, gaming, a flashlight, even a digital Bible?
A recent New York Times investigation found that at least 75 companies were collecting location data from hundreds of apps.
Why does that matter?
From a safety standpoint, if an app gets hacked, a criminal will have your location data and, in some cases, a whole timeline of it.
From a privacy standpoint, it means companies can sell information about the places you go.
In fact, the location-target ad business made $21 million last year.
Many apps, when you download them, will default to collecting your location data all the time unless you tell your phone otherwise.
With an iPhone, go to your privacy settings, then location services, and choose from “always,” “while using” or “never.” Little arrows indicate where an app has recently used your location.
With Android phones, you do not have the option of location tracking only while using, it’s just on or off.
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