GPS-linked apps reveal precise location data to companies

GPS-linked apps reveal precise location data to companies

(WWBT/WXIX) - If you use apps to find cheap gas or navigate are roads, you probably know those apps track your location.

But do you know how often they tracks where you are and what happens to that data?

An investigation from the New York Times says at least 75 companies get anonymous, precise location data from apps from users enable location services to get news, weather and other information.

Among those apps - The Weather Channel, Gas Buddy and Weatherbug.

Some companies say they track up to 200 million phones in the U.S. - that is half the phones in use.

The investigation finds that some of those phone locations are reported more than 14,000 times a day. In other words, not just when you’re using that app.

Among the locations that showed up in the database the times reporters reviewed were jails, schools, a military base, a nuclear power plant and crime scenes.

Many businesses that buy this data say they’re interested in the patterns, not the identities of users. But the Times researchers did identify users by analyzing that data.

There’s no law against this kind of data collection, and most of these apps do tell you they collect and sell your location data, which is why it’s so important to read all of the privacy policies and disclosures before you download these apps.

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