While the iPhone is great at many things, one of the most famous is using it for photos. It is a hassle to carry an extra camera around, and the iPhone is great at taking photos and it is almost always in your pocket.
This being said, there is a part of this experience that often goes unnoticed: location data. Location data is information in the photos taken on the iPhone. This process is exactly the same as when you check into a restaurant on four square, or you get tagged at a friend’s house on Facebook.
This location data stored into each photo taken with the iPhone can later be used in apps, and for other functions. While location data is necessary on apps such as Maps, having access to where you take your pictures is a major privacy concern. Luckily there are options to disable location data for photos, and any photo-related app on the iPhone.
Follow the steps below to disable location data for your iPhone’s photos.
From the iPhone home screen, tap Settings.
Scroll down and select Privacy.
Under the Privacy tab, tap Location Services.
After the camera is off, location data will no longer be included in iPhone photos. To limit other apps from accessing old photos that have location data stored in them, go back to the Privacy page and tap Photos.
Apps such as Instagram, and any other application that has access to the camera roll, can use location data if the setting is On under this list. Limit apps to those that you trust in this category, and to disable other apps, simply set the slider to OFF.
On the flip side, allowing location data for photos also has some advantages. To view an example of this, go to the home screen and Open Photos.
On the main screen of Photos, select Places in the bottom right.
If location data was previously enabled, a map with several red markers will appear. This screen is your photos placed with that location data from the iPhone camera. As you can see I have three main markers below, but if you zoom in (by pinching out) there are more markers, and they become more precisely located. This is a cool feature to show off to friends, but it is also seen as a privacy concern.
This data is also used in programs such as iPhoto on the Mac to build a map similar to the one on the iPhone. In iOS 7, photos group by location and are not just put into the camera roll. The screen shot below is an example of this cool feature that will be out with the new software release.
Overall using location data in photos is great for accessing some cool features within both Apple apps and apps made by other developers. What it comes down to is how important privacy is to the user. For those concerned with their digital privacy, it is best to limit location data, but once again this is up to the individual.