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iOS 13 has new location tracking warnings – and they might shock you

Apple will warn iOS 13 users when applications are tracking their location, courtesy of a new pop-up notification featuring a map.

Continuing the strong privacy focus presented at WWDC 2019 last week, new screenshots have emerged featuring notifications informing users not just when, but where the app is tracking their location.

So, for example, if you’re using the Tesla app with background location tracking enabled, you may see a notification showing precisely where it has tracked you on the map and be presented with the opportunity to quickly alter the settings with a single tap.

Related: Can my iPhone download iOS 13?

In a screenshot posted by 9to5Mac, the message reads: “Tesla has been using your location in the background. Do you want to continue allowing this? Tesla uses your location to show your proximity to your vehicle (when the app is open) and top optimise phone key on your supported vehicles (while the app is in the background.”

From there users will be able to select “Change to Only While Using,” or “Always Allow.”

It isn’t just third-party apps Apple is targeting either, it’s own Apple Store app is also subject to the new map-based notifications. That notification presents users with the same options and reads: “We’ll provide you with relevant products, features, and services depending on where you are.”

The explanations from developers are a most welcome addition to the mix, presenting users with clear information on how the app will use their location, enabling them to make an informed decision on whether it’s worth giving the app access temporarily, only when using, or always.

Apple is also upping location-based security so users are consulted each time an app seeks to access their location. In iOS 13 there’s a new “Allow Once” option which, if authorised, will prompt the same notification next time the app seeks the device owners location.

Apple, which is also cracking down on developers seeking to use Bluetooth and Wi-Fi signals to track users’ locations, will release iOS 13 later this year. The developer beta is available now and the public beta will arrive next month.

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