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iOS 13 privacy features helped decrease background location tracking by 68%: Report

iOS 13 regularly alerts users of apps tracking location when it isn’t in use. Turns out this feature has helped background location tracking go down by 68%.

iOS 13 privacy features helped decrease background location tracking by 68%: Report
Apple ramped up its privacy efforts for iPhones with iOS 13.(Getty Images)

Apple rolled out iOS 13 for iPhones last September. The new iOS version brought a couple of features but the highlight of this update was the privacy features for location services. A new report now states that background location data collection has gone down by 68% since the launch of iOS 13.

According to a report by Fast Company, background data collection by marketers from apps has dropped by 68% on iPhones. This comes from Location Sciences, an analytics firm for location data. Even data shared when an app is in use has dropped by 24%. This significant drop in background location data happened after the launch of iOS 13.

Apple introduced pop-up notification alerts for background location data on iOS 13. Users would regularly be notified when an app is collecting data while it isn’t in use. The pop-up also presents location permissions for apps. Apple had these privacy features already on iOS since 2017, but the company made users more aware through these pop-up alerts on iOS 13.

Google’s similar efforts have also given users more control over location data. Google also rolled out a similar feature for Android phones with Android 10. Users get notifications of apps tracking location in the background when the app isn’t in use on Android 10. Just like iOS 13, Android 10 users can change the settings directly from the notification.

A Google spokesperson told Fast Company that users now choose to share location data when the app is in use around half the time. These privacy features are very helpful especially for users who are not aware of how much background data is collected. User can always change the settings manually for each app but these privacy shortcuts are more convenient and easier.

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