Foursquare is Tracking Your Every Move. Here’s How to Turn that Off

| TMO Quick Tip

When Foursquare decided to split its business and restaurant discovery and social checkin app for the iPhone into two apps a couple months ago, that upset a lot of users. When the updated Foursquare app came out this week with the ability to always track your location even if the app isn't running, that really upset a lot of users, too. If you don't want Foursquare or Swarm knowing where you are all the time, you can turn the feature off -- assuming you know where to look.

Foursquare and Swarm are tracking you everywhere you goFoursquare and Swarm are tracking you everywhere you go

Tracking your location all the time isn't a problem if you know it's happening and give your approval. The problem with the new Foursquare and Swarm apps is that neither makes it clear that's what's happening, and instead of letting users opt it, they have to find the appropriate settings and opt out. Here's how:

Foursquare

  • Launch the Foursquare app
  • Tap the Profile icon
  • Tap the Settings gear icon
  • Tap Location Settings
  • Uncheck Background Location

Foursquare's Background Location settingFoursquare's Background Location setting

Swarm

  • Launch the Swarm app
  • Tap the Profile icon
  • Tap the Settings gear icon
  • Tap Privacy Settings
  • Uncheck the Background location settings

Swarm's Background location settingSwarm's Background location setting

Shutting off the feature stops Foursquare from tracking your every move and limits their tracking capabilities to your checkins. It also will help save some battery life, although the apps do stop auto-tracking if your charge drops below 30 percent.

The company said selling our location data to other companies is an option, so if that doesn't sound appealing to you, then it's time to disable Background Location tracking. Alternately, if you aren't really using either app, then deleting them is an option, too.

Sign Up for the Newsletter

Join the TMO Express Daily Newsletter to get the latest Mac headlines in your e-mail every weekday.

Comments

Lee Dronick

Can this also be done in Settings and Location Services?

Jeff Gamet

Lee,

You can, but you won’t be able to check in anywhere because all Location Services for Foursquare or Swarm will be disabled.

Lee Dronick

Thanks Jeff. I don’t use those apps so I was unfamiliar with them.

Kodac

Thanks for the heads up! It should be your choice whether or not to share your location. 
Curious, what about iOS 7’s background app refresh? Wouldn’t turning this off also stop it from tracking you while the app is closed?

Log-in to comment