No, Instagram's 'precise location' is not being used to stalk you

If you’ve been on the internet recently, chances are you’ve come across an Instagram post or TikTok urging you to switch off your ‘precise location’ on the app.

An Instagram post from an influencer marketing account with over 29,000 followers has gone viral, fuelling privacy concerns.

The post claimed that since a new update, ‘people could find your exact location from Instagram’ and cautioned that it is ‘being used by individuals to target people to commit crimes including theft, stalking etc.’

So far there have been no confirmed instances of theft or stalking as a result of this particular update and it’s highly unlikely.

A recent iOS update activated the ‘Precise Location’ setting on a number of apps, not just Instagram. If you go to your Settings, you’ll see that it’s been switched on for apps like Airbnb, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, Twitter, Uber and even Bumble.

While it’s true that your Precise Location might be switched on by default since the update, it’s probably not something to panic about.

It’s been an existing feature since iOS 15.6.1 where you could specify the levels of location access for certain apps.

If you selected anything other than Never, iOS activated Precise Location by default. This allowed apps to use your specific location and ‘with this setting off, apps can only determine your approximate location’. 

For apps like Uber or Airbnb, this would help in your ride locating you better or finding a home closer to where you are.

According to Apple, approximate location covers an area of about 10 square miles; that’s almost 3 square feet.

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