Free Essay

Google and Apple Know Where You Are, Maybe

In: Business and Management

Submitted By detrickbgrant
Words 1010
Pages 5

We live in a society where it is simply impossible to live without your smartphone tracking your location. There are various ways that location-based tracking is utilized on smartphones for good purposes; but what about the not so good purposes? People make very good use of the tracking software located on smartphone from looking up directions to a hotel to checking the local traffic updates while in route to work. And when completing these tasks, they may not know that those locations are actually being stored in the smart phone. The stored list of locations can be used to send out local ads or be used to target that individual. One must be aware of location-based tracking software located on smartphones.

Location-based Tracking Apps

There are many different applications that use location-based tracking. However, I only use two on my Android. The two that I use is GPS Navigator and Point. I only use GPS Navigator when I need directions to a particular place or need traffic updates when I am out of town. I use Point to find local restaurants, shops, movies, and businesses when I travel out of town. I do not use them very often. However, after using those applications, I un-install any updates for those apps and clear all cache on my phone. This will delete any saved information that was logged.

Privacy Policy

What is a privacy policy? Wikipedia defines a privacy policy as “a statement or legal document that discloses some or all the ways a party gathers, uses, discloses, and manages a customer or client’s data” (“Privacy Policy,” n.d.). In other words, it states how an individual’s information will be used. The privacy policy is there for individuals to open and read so that they can be aware of how an app, browser, or site will use their personal information. There are many people that bypass this document and continue by their normal day to day routine. Even though I hate to admit it, I am one of them. I have not read a privacy policy in quite a while. I do not believe many people read those policies due to the length of the document. And as long as they are able to continue to work or search the site, many feel like it is not needed. However, individuals need to start reading those disclaimers. Because those disclaimers in the privacy policies are in place to give specifics to what can be exercised and/or enforced by parties under the contract.

Location-based Tracking Systems in Cars

Another type of location-based tracking system can now be found in automobiles. Many are familiar with On-Star. With On-Star, a GPS (Global Positioning System) in installed in a vehicle and can track the movements of that particular vehicle in case of theft, to check a package in transit, or to check on a child that is out with friends in the family car. I think that vehicles with this system installed are a benefit to all in case of emergencies. I, on the other hand, do not have GPS in my vehicle. I use my GPS on my smartphone. I have not purchased a paper map due to the GPS on my phone.

Smartphone Tracking for Parents

An increasing number of apps for mobile devices are utilizing GPS technology to help parents keep tabs on their kids. But there’s still the question of compliance from the kids. While the tracking apps can be effective with preteens getting their first smart phone, persuading rebellious teenagers to allow themselves to be tracked is challenging. I believe that it is a good idea to track a teen if it is believed that they are not following their parents’ rules and/or instructions. However, being from an age that did not grow up with a smart phone, teenagers have to earn trust and parents have to trust their children to make good decisions. As teens earn their trust, the less a parent should feel the need to track them. That is not giving the teen any freedom or letting that teen earn their trust.

There are some benefits from having the tracking system. Parents that work a great deal can monitor their teen’s whereabouts to make sure that they are where they are supposed to be. Also, if the teen does not come home at the correct time specified, the parent can check to see the location of the teen based on their smart phone. There is an advantage for teen’s having the tracking system. If the teen gets into trouble, they can have their parents track their location to come and get them.

Some parents go too far as to tracking their teen every moment. Those types of parents are known as “helicopter parents.” The name derived because they hover over their children like helicopters. These types of parents monitor their teens every move, experience, or action. They give their teens no room to be themselves and let them make decisions on their own, regardless of good or bad.


There are many different applications that use location-based tracking for different reasons. Everyone needs to be aware of these apps and how to utilize them correctly. It is necessary to take the time to read all privacy policies and disclaimers to see how your personal information will be used. Also, everyone needs to make sure that they are monitoring their tracking systems to make sure that no one is monitoring their location. We now live in a digital age where location-based tracking will not go away. But if we pay closer attention to what we are accepting when installing applications on our mobile devices, we will be wiser in protecting ourselves from danger. Finally, people need to be mindful of location-based tracking in vehicles and mobile devices. Tracking can be very beneficial if done in the correct manner.


Privacy Policy. (n.d.). In Wikipedia online dictionary. Retrieved from…...

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