Photo via HamxaButt/Flickr

Privacy is a hot topic when it comes to gadgets, and for good reason! If you carry a smartphone, you already likely have GPS location tracking following your every move, but just how much does your iPhone really know about your travel habits? There’s a quick and easy way to find out, but fair warning: this might be kind of scary.


Unless you have specific location services disabled — we’ll get to that in just a minute — your iPhone keeps a list of all the places you travel. And I’m not talking about vague location estimates here; that handy gadget in your pocket knows where you’ve been right down to the street level. Here’s how to access the list:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Tap on Privacy
  3. Tap on Location Services
  4. Scroll all the way down, then tap on System Services
  5. Find ‘Frequent Locations’ on the list and tap it

Here you’ll find a list of the cities you’ve been spotted in frequently by your GPS. Tap a city (you might only have one) to view the specific places your iPhone knows you hang out. The results will show up on a map view as well as a list, complete with street names and the number of times your phone has logged you visiting each location.

Here’s where it gets really freaky: You can tap each location and get estimates of how long you spent at each place, and on what dates, including the times you arrived and left. Apple says the iPhone stores this info in order to make life a bit easier for you by learning your habits which it can then apply to things like traffic directions, location-based reminders, and other features.

That being said, if you’re a privacy nut — and these days, you really should be — there’s really no harm in turning the feature off entirely. The idea that someone with access to your phone could see your personal routine in such precise detail is unsettling, and nobody could blame you for wanting to stop the tracking in its, well, tracks. Back on the ‘Frequent Locations’ screen, simply tap the toggle button to turn it off and prevent your phone from keeping its somewhat unsettling list.