March 26, 2023

If you’re worried about stalkers showing up on your doorstep after stalking your Instagram posts, take a deep breath. This may not happen.

A popular message started circulating on Instagram earlier this week, with stories and grid posts from regular users and users. famous brand. The graphic raises some form of warning about the precise location feature, which apparently lets the app show your exact location instead of the general radius in geotags. Users worry that tagging something like “New York City” when posting from home will put their photo at their exact address rather than the general location in New York.

The virality of the frightening news prompted Instagram to respond on the Instagram Comms Twitter account and the official Instagram Creators account, debunking the idea that others could access user location data. Instagram also reminds users that pinpointing is an iPhone feature and used by many apps, not something unique to the platform.

Pinpointing isn’t “a new iOS update,” as Instagram reminds us. The feature, which has been available since iOS 14 debuted in 2020, allows apps to use GPS data to pinpoint their location to provide certain services. While it varies by app, the feature is typically used to provide maps and location labels, the exact location data is only visible inside the app.

In other words, unless you choose to geotag a specific location by name, such as a restaurant, other Instagram users will never be able to determine your address just by clicking on a geotagged photo. Unless you freely provide your home address on social media, your geotags should not point to where you live. You always have the option to turn pinpoint location off, although it will sneakily turn on automatically when you give an app access to location services.

While apps like Instagram don’t reveal your precise location to the random criminals out there, this misguided frenzy does remind us to be mindful of the types of data we allow our apps to collect and what we choose to share on social. information media.Although apps and services that collect location data don’t give your information to random users, they often require Turn this data over to law enforcement. While precise location cannot be used to track your own unpublished addresses, geotagging the locations you like to frequent may reveal your lifestyle habits to anyone who follows you online – which can be difficult if you have a large following. Very clever to protect these everyday details from being seen by strangers.

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