learn to track

Fine-Tuning Location Privacy: The Struggle of Android’s Approximate Location Feature

Android approximate location permission

Android 12 aimed to boost privacy with a smart feature: letting users share only their “approximate” location with apps.

It sounded ideal, especially for apps like weather services, which don’t need to pinpoint where you are. Yet, this innovation seems to have missed its mark.

Why? The crux of the issue is that app developers aren’t embracing it. Most apps insist on “precise” location data or won’t work correctly.

This stubbornness spans various apps, even big names like YouTube TV and the built-in Weather app on some smartphones, to essentials like TP-Link’s Kasa app. Only a few, like AccuWeather and the McDonald’s app, play nice with approximate locations.

The solution isn’t simple. For starters, Google could refine the system to block apps that need precise data from asking for anything less.

But there’s a catch—such a rule could be exploited. Moreover, apps that trick users into thinking they haven’t shared any location data when choosing “approximate” must end.

It isn’t very clear and undermines the feature’s purpose. Ultimately, Google needs to step up its enforcement game to make this privacy feature as helpful as it was meant to be.

What’s your take? Have you noticed apps behaving better or worse with location permissions on your device? Share your experiences below.


Add comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.