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Your Location History, More Embarrassing Than Your Browser History?

A person’s whereabouts used to be thought of as a private matter. Regardless of where you were or what you were doing, you could assume that no one outside of your vicinity would have any interest in or knowledge of your movements.

Many people continue to think this way yet carry with them devices that track their every move. Malicious individuals can easily access these gadgets and convert user movements into Google location history data. These hackers can then sell this information to corporations operating around the world.


Smartphone and small black FARADAY BAGS

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A report from  Grand View Research  found that the global location intelligence market was estimated at $16 billion in 2022. Many companies you probably never heard of are vying for access to location history, turning it into a multi-billion dollar industry.

Data on your location history is a hot commodity. At GoDark Faraday Bags , we believe that if nobody’s paying you for it, then nobody should have the right to take it from you. 


Table of Contents

Your Location History, More Embarrassing Than Your Browser History?

How to Check Location History on Your Phone

What Kind of Information Can Your Google Location History Reveal About You?

How It Works: Location Data Gathering

App Use and Location Sharing Consent

How Your Unprotected Location Data Can Be Monetized

How to Protect Your Phone’s Location Data



How to Check Location History on Your Phone

Here’s how you can check your location history on an Android:

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open theGoogle Maps app.
  2. Tap your profile picture and selectYour Timeline.
  3. Select a place from Timeline.
  4. TapDetails.

Do the following to check your location history on your iPhone:

Navigate toSettings on your device.

  1. SelectPrivacy from the drop-down menu.
  2. SelectLocation Services.
  3. ChooseSystem Services, which is at the bottom.
  4. SelectFrequent Locations orSignificant Locations to see your location history.


What Kind of Information Can Your Google Location History Reveal about You?

Each person has their reasons for desiring privacy. However, you really don’t need a reason to have your basic rights upheld. 

We all deserve privacy regardless of the lives we lead. Our location history should only be shared on a need-to-know basis. 

No one wants every detail of their life to be put on full display. Even in our modern culture of oversharing on social media, consent is a critical component of any form of social networking and communication. 

There are endless examples of perfectly normal activities that you might prefer to keep private. Besides your profile picture, you wouldn’t want the location history feature of your smartphone to reveal personal information or activities, such as the following: 

  • Your daily routine
  • Visits to medical facilities
  • Visits to a place of worship
  • Visits to a cannabis dispensary or liquor store
  • Visits to a lawyer’s office
  • Where your kids go to school
  • Spending nights at someone else’s home
  • Attending a protest or political rally 

Unfortunately, you’re never really alone when you have your phone with you. The same technology that makes our highly connected lives possible also enables incredibly detailed location history tracking. 

And this isn’t a hypothetical scenario. The monitoring of one’s location history is simply a part of living with an internet-connected device in our pockets. 

What’s even worse is that apps don’t automatically delete location history. It actually stores them in their data repositories.


How It Works: Location Data Gathering 

You know from using GPS mapping apps that your phone can pinpoint your precise location. It can track your movements with incredible accuracy, similar to how a GPS can redirect you when you make a wrong turn.

Location history tracking is wonderfully useful when we need it. However, your phone is capable of tracking your movements all the time, not just when you ask it to. 

What triggers your phone to track your movements? Where does data, such as from Google maps history, go?

Well, it’s difficult to know the full extent of location history tracking that the average device user is put through. The entities interested in location tracking are out in front, with regulations and public knowledge trailing behind. Perpetrators can even access such data even if you delete location history.

With it being a multi-billion dollar industry, it wouldn’t be surprising if a staggering amount of data on location history originates from our smartphones.


App Use and Location Sharing Consent 

example of a phone notification asking for consent to provide access to the user’s location

A great deal of location history movement starts with everyday app use. Providing access to our location is required by some apps. A mapping app, for example, will request our location so that it can give us directions. 

For a weather app, to receive local weather information, we need to share our location—or do we? Couldn’t we simply enter our details while using the app rather than providing a nonstop streamed connection to our whereabouts?

Questions of necessity aside, app users frequently provide platforms with consent on their location history logs. A notification asks for permission, and the user presses “yes.” 

When an app requests location sharing, there’s not a lot of text in the message. You won’t usually know whether they’ll delete location history or not. There might be a link to a disclosure statement—which, of course, hurried phone users are unlikely to read. 

What might not be evident is that the app may be gaining access to your dataall the time, not just with location history. Furthermore, rather than simply using that information to improve your app experience,  they might be claiming permission to sell it.

Once your location history is claimed, it enters an enormous, complex, and powerful marketplace. It’s an industry that affects our lives constantly but operates mostly outside of the public view. 


How Your Unprotected Location Data Can Be Monetized

an image of a world map made of coins with a person’s hand holding a magnifying glass over Asia

A variety of powerful groups and corporations covet the data collected on your location history. 

A retail business might want to know where you are to send targeted advertising when you’re near a store location. They might want to get your profile picture and check location history logs. A hedge fund might want to know when you enter a store to gauge whether or not that business is thriving and worth investing in.

An entire global marketplace has emerged to connect interested parties with location data from apps. 


Location Data: Buyers and Sellers

App Companies

Collect data from app users

Data Aggregators

Buy data from app companies and sell bulk-packaged data

Analytics Companies

Provide analysis of location data in service to app companies, data aggregators, and data purchasers


Buy location data and location history services for various purposes, such as targeted advertising

The chart above draws some distinction between buyers and sellers. But in reality, the location history marketplace is full of crisscrossed connections, with all parties buying and selling from one another. 

App companies easily obtain massive amounts of data. And there are lots and lots of groups that are interested in location history. So, an enormous middleman industry has emerged to purchase, package, analyze, and sell location data. 

The Markup, a nonprofit technology newsroom, took a deep dive into the shadowy world of location history trading and identified 47 companies that “harvest, sell, or trade-in mobile phone location data.” 

Six of the companies researched by The Markup claimed to have access tomore than a billion devices in their datasets. 

Unfortunately, the location history marketplace is not yet particularly transparent. If regulations and public awareness were stronger, then the marketplace would not be so vast and unchecked. 

What’s clear is that the average phone user is not well aware of the commoditization of their location data. They also don’t know the potential consequences that can come about when their location history is tracked and shared. 

Stories have already surfaced revealing some of the scary implications of all this location data sharing. For example, a data broker named X-Mode  gained data from Muslim prayer apps  and sold that information to military contractors. 

Surely, in years to come, we’ll learn more unsavory details about the dark and winding roads traveled by location history that’s been pulled from our electronic devices. 


How to Protect Your Phone’s Location Data 

a GoDark Faraday Bag, a storage product for blocking incoming and outgoing EMF phone signals

If you opt into modern technology, chances are you’re delving into location data sharing as well. Total avoidance is probably impossible, even if you delete location history. 

What you can do is gain control over the extent to which your location data is accessed. Activity controls can minimize how much location history you share. They can also prevent constant sharing, particularly on the details you’re not willing to share. 

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You can decline as many location-sharing requests as possible. That will help, but you might find granting access to some apps necessary to allow proper function. 

Furthermore, we really don’t know the full extent of location history sharing our phones are subject to. We just know that our phones are always online and that a lot of parties are interested in our data. 

Most devices won’t automatically delete details of location history. Turning them off may be a solution, but constantly activating and re-activating them is simply not practical. 

At GoDark Faraday Bags, we offer a better solution: bags that block all incoming and outgoing EMF signals. That includes 4G, 5G, WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS. 

Testimonial from Ian J.

Placing your phone in a GoDark Faraday Bag means that it becomes untraceable until it’s removed from the bag. No calls, texts, or notifications get through—and no signal gets out. 

Simply remove your phone or another device from the bag and it will catch up to the present moment, receiving whatever incoming messages were missed. 

To start restoring your digital privacy, visit our  online store.


Pinterest pin your location history