New Delhi: A rumour has been circulating on social media for the past week that a recent iOS or Instagram update activates “Precise Location” on users’ phones, making them vulnerable to stalkers and criminals.
An influencer marketing firm made the claim, which was amplified on Instagram by other users.
“Since a new update, people can find your exact location from Instagram and this is being used by individuals to target people to commit crimes including theft, stalking etc (sic),” it read, further advising users to keep their precise location off.
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 they can walk to.
According to the magazine, Precise Location on social media apps helps narrow down where users are so that they can offer them more relevant locations to tag in their posts.
Following the viral posts about Precise Location, Instagram clarified that it does not share users’ locations with others.
“Similar to other social media companies, we use precise location for things like location tags and maps features,” the social network tweeted. “People can manage Location Services via their device settings, and tag locations on their posts if they want to share that information.”
Users who are concerned about their location can change the settings on their phones. They can instruct some apps to only see their approximate location.
Turning off Precise Location for apps like Google Maps and Uber, on the other hand, may cause service issues.