How does GPS tracking threaten our privacy?

Mobile phones have evolved into fundamental communication tools that are now used for more than just making phone conversations. They are now used to access the Internet, send text messages, chronicle the world, and become a part of ourselves. While using location-based services in apps like Google Maps and Uber can make our lives easier, some severe concerns are involved. To protect yourself, you must first understand what kind of location-based data you are giving online and how this data can jeopardize both your online and physical privacy.

What is GPS?

The global positioning system (GPS) is made up of a constellation of satellites that transmit signals to the surface of the Earth. A primary GPS receiver, such as the one in your smartphone, identifies your location by detecting the arrival time of signals from different faraway satellites to within 1 to 10 meters. Scientists can fix their locations to centimeters or even millimeters using more advanced (and more expensive) GPS devices.

How Does GPS Affect Privacy?

Modern smartphones include features that allow the phone to identify its location, frequently utilizing GPS and other location-based services. Apps can request this information from the phone and utilize it to provide location-based services, such as maps that show your location on a map. For programs that ask to use location, the more recent permissions model has been updated. On the other hand, some applications may be more aggressive than others in their requests to use GPS or a mix of Location Services.

When GPS is combined with other technologies, such as the Internet, social media, or mobile phone apps, commercial organizations can easily track someone's movements and use this information to collect data on their travel and shopping habits and target them with advertising based on their location. Opting out of such intrusive initiatives might be difficult, if not impossible.

Some of these applications will then send your location to a service provider over the network, allowing the app and any third parties with whom it may share your information to monitor you. It's not just about figuring out where someone is right now; it can also be used to answer inquiries about people's past behaviors, as well as their opinions, participation in events, and personal relationships.

How to Protect Yourself from the Risks of GPS?

In some instances, both software and applications can track your whereabouts without your permission. If you don't want anything or anyone to monitor your whereabouts, check out the tips given below −

  • The vast majority of websites employ cookies to track visitors, and these cookies are kept on the user's computer or device. Turning off or clearing your cookies regularly is the most straightforward approach to combat this.

  • Turn off GPS or only use it when necessary. If you need the GPS to navigate a new city or something, you'll still use it. When you go home or plan to remain in a spot for an extended period, though, it's best to turn off GPS and location services.

  • You may also control which apps and software are allowed to use these services.

  • Use a VPN that encrypts all data flow.

  • During the night, enable Airplane mode on your phone. Even though this does not disable GPS, it prevents your apps from transmitting RF signals, lowering your EMF exposure at night.