NEW DELHI: A rumor has been circulating on social media over the past week that a recent update to iOS or Instagram activates ‘precise location’ on users’ phones, leaving them vulnerable to stalkers and criminals.
An influential marketing company made this claim, which has been amplified on Instagram by other users.
“Since the new update, people can find your exact location from Instagram and it is being used by individuals to target people for crimes including theft, stalking, etc. (sic),” the text states, advising users to keep their exact location away.
However, the precise location feature is not new. According to PC Magazine, Apple announced it in 2020, and Google released it with Android 12.
Precise location is useful when users want step-by-step directions or to be directed to a restaurant that they can walk to.
According to the magazine, precise location on social media apps helps narrow users’ presence so that they can offer them more relevant locations to tag in their posts.
After viral posts about the exact location, Instagram made it clear that it does not share users’ locations with others.
“Like other social media companies, we use precise location for things like location markers and map features,” the social network wrote on Twitter. “People can manage location services via their device settings, and tag locations in their posts if they want to share this information.”
Users who are interested in their location can change the settings on their phone. They can direct some apps to only see their approximate location.
On the other hand, turning off the exact location of apps like Google Maps and Uber may cause problems with the service.