Many people are unaware of all the places that Bluetooth connects your devices to. They’re more than just your phone to your headset. Apple brought this to light in their release of iOS 13, and one of their biggest rivals, Google, and Facebook may be the biggest culprits. Here’s what you need to know.
Of course, one of the reasons Apple has brought this up is that its new iOS 13 enables you to allow which applications can have Bluetooth access to your location. When you deny access, you’ll lose some functionality, but you have the option.
Why are Google, Facebook and others stalking you? It’s obvious: they can promote a product or service for someone to sell you. They’ve been doing it for a while. All they had to do was set up a network of Bluetooth devices that could detect your presence and deliver a popup notification on behalf of a retailer, product manufacturer, restaurant, etc. At the same time, apps such as those for ride sharing and banking also use Bluetooth, and you might not be able to get a ride or complete a transaction without it. But at least now you’ll know who’s tracking you, and you’ll know why because the app has to state its purpose for it.
The infuriating part is that before iOS 13, you never knew when you entered one of their tracking zones, and there was nothing you could do about it. The new OS changes that. It will tell you when an app wants to use Bluetooth to use your location data. You’ll then have the option to allow it or deny it. You’ll also have the option to deny an application access to your location automatically – until you decide to grant access. The process to deny access until you change your mind is straightforward: Go to Settings > Privacy > Bluetooth and toggle apps on or off.
Installing the latest software – iOS 13 for iPhone 6 and later and newer versions of iPad – is one example of why it’s critical to have all of your software up to date. Many people don’t realize that devices in homes and offices have operating-system software, which is known as firmware. This includes smart TVs and the massive copiers that you get from an equipment dealer. Google has many ways to track locations and user data, and you don’t know about them.
If you’re mad as hell about your privacy and don’t want to take invasions from unknown parties anymore, we can help. Call us – 973-433-6676 – or email us to walk you through a software update process or schedule an appointment to do it.