Location services on Android can be turned on and off without you knowing properly.
There’s a reason why apps ask for permission to use your location so regularly, even if they work fine without it. Many organizations, such as Google, rely on your location data to give accurate weather forecasts or the most up-to-date traffic events.
In some circumstances, apps may just require your location data for market research purposes. If you’re not sure what information you’re transmitting or just want to remain anonymous, here’s how to turn off location services on Android phones.
Note: While it’s simple to turn off location services entirely on your iOS or Android smartphone, you can also turn them off for certain apps. Because some apps rely upon location services to work, you may want to make some exceptions.
Disable Location Services on Android
Android versions work on “stock” as well as custom interfaces depending upon the manufacturers. The procedure, though, should be comparable enough to follow.
We are going to use Samsung S20 with Android 10 running under OneUI of Samsung.
To disable location services on Android, follow these steps:
Step 1: Open “Settings” from the app drawer or simply go to them via the top right corner of your notifications panel.
Step 2: Tap on the “Location”.
Step 3: Toggle it “Off”.
Disable Location Services on Android for Specific Apps
Specific apps run on android’s location services. If you frequently use Google Maps, or apps that may use location, you may not want to disable the location services on Android. If you don’t, then you can disable the location services for the specific app instead of the whole.
Follow these steps to do so:
Step 1: In the “Location” settings, go to “App permissions”.
Step 2: Select the app you want to disable the location services for.
Step 3: Make sure you toggle “Deny”.
Disable Google Location Services
No matter what Android you are using, Google will have its location-specific apps running and turned on in the background.
If you are a privacy paranoid, follow along these steps to disable these Google Location Services:
Step 1: Go to the “Location” in the settings.
Step 2: Here you will find Emergency Location Service, Google Location Accuracy, Google Location History, Google Location Sharing, and Location in Search.
Step 3: If you find it “On”, you can disable it by tapping and toggling them Off.
You can allow apps to ask for one-time access to location services on android to complete certain tasks. When the notification appears, select “Only this time” to allow the app to access your location for a single time before disabling it (iOS has a similar feature). This is a great way to get specific information without having to give an app broad access.
The Bottom Line
The privacy implications of location tracking data, which is at the center of our modern life, are rarely discussed. The information about a person’s whereabouts is extremely sensitive. It’s not so much about personal privacy as it is about a web of interconnections. If you’re a victim of a data breach, you’re not the only one who suffers; anyone with whom you have a relationship also suffers.
What is the answer? Keep a close eye on the apps you download and the rights you provide them. Be aware of the implications of allowing location services. Examine your social media privacy settings to improve your privacy.