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Instagram 'precise location' feature goes viral, but it's not new

Posted at 10:47 AM, Aug 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-26 12:47:02-04

Instagram users are raising concerns about the app's "precise location" feature, but it isn't new and may have been running in the background for longer than you think.

Precise location pinpoints exactly where you are — even your location within a few feet inside your home, for example. Instagram quietly rolled out the feature when it became available through an Apple update back in 2020. Android followed shortly after.

But precise location started trending this week, with users concerned their location data could end up in the hands of stalkers, criminals or domestic abusers.

The social media company, which is owned by Meta, claims it doesn't share location data with other users.

“Similar to other social media companies, we use precise location for things like location tags and maps features," a spokesperson for Instagram said.

If you want to keep your location data safe, here's how to prevent Instagram from accessing it:

  • For iPhone users: Go to settings, scroll down to Instagram, tap location, and turn off precise location.
  • For Android users: Go to settings, find app management, tap Instagram, go to permissions, then location, and check the box next to deny.

Tech security experts say you may want to do this for other apps, as well.