location iconSince the launch of iOS 13 last fall, third-party access to users' background location data has reportedly declined by 68 percent, according to Location Sciences, a firm that analyzes location data for marketers (via Fast Company).

The firm also found that foreground data sharing, which occurs only while an app is open, has fallen by 24 percent.

According to a separate report by Digiday, third-party apps are now seeing opt-in rates under 50 percent for collecting location data when they're not in use.

The shortage of GPS data has been put down to Apple's recently introduction of pop-up options that let users selectively control background location tracking on the fly.

In iOS 13, iPhone and iPad users are periodically reminded about apps that are continuously tracking their location, complete with a map of those locations and options to "Change to Only While Using," "Always Allow," and "Just Once."

"As those particular options were made available to users, we do attribute that to the decrease in sharing," Jason Smith, Location Sciences' chief business officer, told Fast Company.

While the report indicates that Apple's new background location tracking options are having their intended effect, a recent report by The Wall Street Journal suggests that some developers are concerned that frequent location tracking reminders will hurt adoption of their apps.

Apple responded to the report by insisting that the changes were made to further safeguard user privacy.

"Apple has not built a business model around knowing a customer's location or the location of their device," an Apple spokesperson told WSJ, adding that Apple builds its hardware and software with privacy in mind.

Related Forum: iOS 13

Top Rated Comments

Chrjy Avatar
37 months ago
The thing is most consumers don't understand the differences which can in fact hurt developers and the customers experience of an app. For example, Apple provides Region Monitoring as part of their SDK which needs 'Always' location services to function, without it, it just won't work.

I am developing an app that requires Region Monitoring but I have no interest in the users location, in fact the location details never leave the device but to provide the necessary experience, 'Always' location services must be selected.

Don't get me wrong, if other devs have ulterior motives, which we know some do, then this is very welcome but for those devs, such as myself, who need Always location for a feature in the dev-kit that Apple provides, it's not good news.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PickUrPoison Avatar
37 months ago

The thing is most consumers don't understand the differences which can in fact hurt developers and the customers experience of an app. For example, Apple provides Region Monitoring as part of their SDK which needs 'Always' location services to function, without it, it just won't work.

I am developing an app that requires Region Monitoring but I have no interest in the users location, in fact the location details never leave the device but to provide the necessary experience, 'Always' location services must be selected.

Don't get me wrong, if other devs have ulterior motives, which we know some do, then this is very welcome but for those devs, such as myself, who need Always location for a feature in the dev-kit that Apple provides, it's not good news.
Allowing Region Monitoring without periodic notification could be one of the changes Apple plans on making ?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Puppuccino Avatar
37 months ago
I don’t know how much difference it makes with having strict privacy on for consumers realistically. However I’m happy that Apple has taken this stand and is why I’ve been using iPhone for many years and have no intention in going anywhere else.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
_Refurbished_ Avatar
37 months ago

The thing is most consumers don't understand the differences which can in fact hurt developers and the customers experience of an app. For example, Apple provides Region Monitoring as part of their SDK which needs 'Always' location services to function, without it, it just won't work.

I am developing an app that requires Region Monitoring but I have no interest in the users location, in fact the location details never leave the device but to provide the necessary experience, 'Always' location services must be selected.

Don't get me wrong, if other devs have ulterior motives, which we know some do, then this is very welcome but for those devs, such as myself, who need Always location for a feature in the dev-kit that Apple provides, it's not good news.
Apple should retool the system to be more precise. Such as, “Always on, but location details aren’t shared”.

My example may not be the best worded, but there should be a way for developers, such as yourself, to safely enable location sharing without compromising someone’s privacy.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
yuutacchi Avatar
37 months ago
I wish there was a way to quickly always allow in the background for some apps to avoid constant notifications.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
0815 Avatar
37 months ago

some developers are concerned that frequent location tracking reminders will hurt adoption of their apps.
I have rather their adoption rate hurt then my privacy. I want to choose with whom I share my location when and how often. If they have a legit reason to ask for this in their app that benefits me then I share it, otherwise not.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Emergency SOS via Satellite iPhone YT

Apple's iPhone 14 Emergency SOS via Satellite Feature Saves Stranded Man in Alaska

Thursday December 1, 2022 4:37 pm PST by
With the launch of iOS 16.1, Apple rolled out a Emergency SOS via Satellite, which is designed to allow iPhone 14 owners to contact emergency services using satellite connectivity when no cellular or WiFi connection is available. The feature was put to the test in Alaska today, when a man became stranded in a rural area. In the early hours of the morning on December 1, Alaska State Troopers ...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

iOS 16.2 for iPhone Launching This Month With These 8 New Features

Thursday December 1, 2022 8:44 am PST by
Apple plans to publicly release iOS 16.2 for the iPhone in mid-December, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The update remains in beta testing for now, with at least eight new features and changes already uncovered so far. iOS 16.2 introduces a number of new features, including Apple's new whiteboard app Freeform, two new Lock Screen widgets for Sleep and Medications, the ability to hide...
iOS 16

Apple Releases iOS 16.1.2 With Carrier Improvements and Crash Detection Optimizations

Wednesday November 30, 2022 10:09 am PST by
Apple today released iOS 16.1.2, another minor bug fix update that comes one week after the release of iOS 16.1.1 and three weeks after the launch of iOS 16.1, an update that added support for iCloud Shared Photo Library, Matter, Live Activities, and more. The iOS 16.1.2 update can be downloaded on eligible iPhones over-the-air by going to Settings > General > Software Update. According...
iPad 10 Battery Pull Tabs

iPad 10 Teardown Reveals Why Device Isn't Compatible With Apple Pencil 2

Thursday December 1, 2022 10:48 am PST by
Do-it-yourself repair website iFixit today shared a video teardown of Apple's new 10th-generation iPad, providing a closer look inside the tablet and revealing why the device lacks support for the second-generation Apple Pencil. The teardown reveals the internal layout of the iPad, including its two-cell 7,606 mAh battery, logic board with the A14 Bionic chip, and more. As suspected, the...
iOS 16

When Will iOS 16.2 Be Released?

Friday December 2, 2022 2:13 pm PST by
Apple in late October began testing iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2 updates, providing betas to both developers and public beta testers. As of now, we've had four total betas, with the fourth beta having been released earlier this week. iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2 are expected before the end of the year, and we thought we'd try to narrow down the launch timeline. With only four betas released since...
14 vs 16 inch mbp m2 pro and max feature 1

Major RAM Upgrade Coming to Next-Generation MacBook Pro

Friday December 2, 2022 2:03 am PST by
The next-generation MacBook Pro models could feature faster RAM, according to a recent report from a reliable source. MacRumors Forums member "Amethyst," who accurately revealed details about the Mac Studio and Studio Display before those products were announced, recently provided information about Apple's upcoming 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models. The new machines are expected to feature...
iOS 16

Apple Still Has These 5 Things to Release Heading Into 2023

Thursday December 1, 2022 7:12 am PST by
The calendar has turned to December and that means Apple has only one month left to fulfill its promises of releasing an Apple Music Classical app and expanding its self-service repair program to Europe before the end of 2022. Delays are always possible, of course, so the plans could be pushed back to 2023. In any case, we have put together a list of five things that Apple still has to release...
iOS 16

Apple Seeds Fourth Betas of iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2 [Update: Public Beta Available]

Thursday December 1, 2022 10:16 am PST by
Apple today seeded the fourth betas of upcoming iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the betas coming two weeks after Apple seeded the third betas of iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2. Registered developers are able to download the iOS 16‌.2 and iPadOS 16.2 profiles from the Apple Developer Center, and once installed, the beta is available over the air. iOS...
iPhone Measure Height

Newer iPhones Allow You to Measure Someone's Height Instantly — Here's How

Saturday December 3, 2022 10:23 am PST by
iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max, iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max, and iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max models feature a LiDAR Scanner next to the rear camera that can be used to measure a person's height instantly in Apple's preinstalled Measure app. To measure a person's height, simply open the Measure app, point your iPhone at the person you want to measure, and make sure they are visible on the screen from...
apple ar headset concept 2

Apple Now Calling AR/VR Headset Operating System 'xrOS'

Thursday December 1, 2022 12:57 pm PST by
Apple has decided to call the software that will run on its upcoming AR/VR headset "xrOS," an update from the original "RealityOS or "rOS" naming the company was planning on, according to Bloomberg. Render created by Ian Zelbo based on rumored information The name change comes as Apple begins to prepare for the launch of the headset, which is expected at some point in 2023. The headset will...