MICHIGAN - Hey iPhone users, want to see something creepy? Unlock your phone and click the 'settings' icon. Scroll down to 'privacy' then click 'Location Services.' Welcome to the cache of applications on your phone that are currently tracking your every movement - and potentially telling others where to find you.
Apps from Facebook to Twitter, your weather app and even popular mobile games could all be sharing this information. The ubiquity of this technology has cybersecurity experts concerned about what it means for unsuspecting consumers.
"Where you are sleeping at night, where you're taking your children to school, where you're going to work or any other places throughout the course of a day that you may be visiting - all that information is consistently tracked, logged and shared," said David Derigiotis, one of those concerned experts.
Yes Android users, this includes you as well. Go here to find out how to learn more: https://search.appcensus.io/
After an investigation by the New York Times revealed that more than 10 million American's location data had been leaked to people looking to grab it, many are rethinking just how much access they want to offer on their phone. The slippery slope that starts with location services can become personal information, email addresses, and other data.
"An anonymous employee from a location data company shared a trove of location data with a media outlet because they were concerned about the amount of information and the sensitivity of the information that was being collected," said Derigiotis.
It may feel harmless, having this information up. But it's not.
"Police officers, it can be abuse victims, people that are concerned with stalkers. If that information falls into the wrong hands, it can be more than just privacy-conscious decisions being made with that," said Derigiotis.
It could mean break-ins or people being followed. If you take a photo, the exact time and location of where that image was taken is embedded into the file. These listed concerns don't even include the dangers posed to children unknowingly sharing their location as well.
With so many companies potentially tracking your phone's location, Derigiotis says besides not downloading the application, the best thing anyone can do is turn these location services off.
"I think the most prudent thing you can do is hit 'never' until you need to actually use the application. That can be the most stringent thing you can do outside of not having the application on your phone at all," said Derigiotis.
If you need your phone's location on for a specific application, it's just as easy to turn the whereabouts on. Deriogiotis suggests clicking the "while using the app" option if you do, however.