It’s no secret that companies like Apple have been collecting data from users for years. As much as we love our privacy, we also love Siri’s snarky comebacks and we’ve quietly decided to forgo the former for the latter.
But just when you forget how intrusive Apple can be, you’re slapped in the face with a reminder like this: there’s a map hidden in your Settings menu that plots every location you’ve visited, as well as when and how often.
The feature is called “Frequent Locations.” Not only does it record the places you regularly go, it even includes complete addresses and a map. Imagine the damage a suspicious girlfriend who knows your passcode could do with that.
Apple has made the feature unsettlingly hard to find. It’s buried several layers deep in your settings menu, where only the most intrepid smartphone users are likely to venture. Here’s how to find it:
- Open the main Settings menu.
- Select Privacy.
- Select Location Services.
- Scroll to the very bottom and select System Services.
- Scroll down to Frequent Locations.
This is where you can turn the feature off, but if you’d like to poke around first, this is what you’ll see. First, a menu reveals the major cities you’ve most recently visited, along with the number of locations you were recorded at within a particular time frame. Click one location and you’ll get a more detailed view of everywhere you’ve been in the area, complete with a map and the number of visits recorded in each location.
Click again and you can access a specific location display. You’ll see the dates of your visits and approximate timestamps of when you’ve been there. As if you need a reminder of the number of evenings you’ve wasted at the crap happy hour near the office.
Now back out from the location you selected. At the bottom of this list, you’ll see the Clear History option. Do it. Then toggle Frequent Locations off and breathe a sigh of relief.