Mac OS High Sierra Turns on User Tracking by Default Again

Apple – I’m disappointed in y’all for adding/enabling “significant locations” to my laptop in the latest update to Mac OS High Sierra. “Frequent Locations” as it is called in IOS, being added to laptops is just as bad as when you added to the iPhone. It can put people in danger. And at a time when we are having a national debate on the predatory behavior of so many people. 

Readers – Has your laptop said “You were just at xyz yesterday. Why not submit a rating?” Yup. That. 

How to turn off Significant Locations

 

Step 1 – In Settings go to Security and Privacy

location services tracking
Turn off location tracking but not all of location services

After unlocking it Step 2

Frequent Locations is NOT needed and unsafe
Frequent Locations is NOT needed and unsafe

Step 3

The Map Showing Every Place You Go – Clear History First

Step 4 – After Clearing History

Clearing History Will Prompt You to Reconsider

Step 5 – Uncheck Frequent Locations

Uncheck Frequent Locations After History is Cleared

Why is turning of significant locations important? Because if your laptop gets stolen and it’s not encrypted and / or uses a weak password, then they get to know every place you frequent (like your home, work, gym, grocery store, you name it. Even how long you stay there.

Company issued laptop? Your boss could learn you are interviewing. Or that your sick day was really just a day to go to the beach.

Victim of domestic violence? That person could track every place you go, like to a shelter or the authorities. And they probably have access to your computer.

Have nothing to hide? Maybe some of your friends don’t want their address stored in your laptop for advertisers to cross reference.

Traveling? Authorities in another country could determine the location of your family and friends for coercion. And at the border people can now be compelled to turn over their social media logins. You may think you have nothing to hide, but if you care for others, then you owe it to them to maintain reasonable privacy.

Tracking people has far more down sides than up sides.

And Apple – burying those tracking settings where normal humans can’t find them to protect themselves isn’t cool. It just makes phishing scams easier and literally threatens people’s lives if abused. Please stop.