How It Works
Mobile phone photography

Does my smartphone track where I am at all times, and if so, how?

Mobile phone photography

Most smartphones have ways to know where you are. Not only can they can rely on the GPS signal from satellites, just like a car satnav, but they can also rely on the phone masts themselves. Each phone mast covers a specific area, and mobiles connect to the mast that is providing the stronger signal. By comparing signal strength from different masts, phones can know approximately where you are. They can also do this using available wireless network hotspots.

These features can help you find your way around, or locate the nearest restaurant. Some people even use applications that tell their friends where they are. The problem is that it is hard to know exactly what all the applications in the phone are doing. Some can easily keep sending your location to a computer across the world. When you take pictures with your phone or some cameras with GPS, your location can be stored in the picture file, though you can disable this. The best way to stay safe is to only install apps you trust. You can choose to turn the location services off, which will also save your battery. Just try not to get lost…

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