Did you forget your smart phone is also a computer with a built-in tracking device and that it’s probably made by a giant corporation? I hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but your phone is most likely doing some pretty creepy things without you realizing it. Yeah, your phone is basically the best stalker you’ve never asked for and there’s not much we can do about it. Can you imagine not having a smart phone? Call it a technology addicted all you want, but if you grew up with a cell phone, you basically keep your whole life on there. So, what are you going to do? Get rid of your phone? Didn’t think so.
Now, some of these things you can turn off and other things… you should just get comfortable holding that knowledge because your phone’s already programmed to do what it’s doing. Fun, right? We have a lot of great things in our lives because of technology – it’s awesome! – but we also have some low-key creepy parts of our daily lives now that we just have to get used to. Or you can go thrift yourself a flip-phone from your parents’ junk drawer. Totally up to you. I’m not saying it’s all bad or going to directly lead to Apple knocking on your door to question you about what you were surfing on your private browser tab in Safari. Just know that they know and be cool about it. If there’s anything you’re not cool with, pray you can turn it off, but because knowledge is power, you need to know these creepy things your phone is doing.
It Knows When You Are Sleeping, It Knows When You're AwakeSanta, what's good? You know that Health app that comes auto-installed on your iPhone? Well, turns out it tracks everything you do including how many steps you took, how many flights of stairs you climbed, and how well you slept the night before. Most of us never click it because we figure if we don't use it, it's probably not working at all. Not true! Open it and see for yourself. You might need a tutorial to see where to click, but trust me, it's all in there in different charts and graphs.Breakfast At Tiffany's
Tracking Your LocationThought I was kidding with the Health app? It gets weirder. Your phone tracks every step you take and forms conclusions about your travel patterns enough to know where your home, school, and work are. You go to the mall with your friends every Saturday? Cool, your phone knows that, too. It gives you helpful updates like "it will take you 15 minutes to get here" or "there is higher than usual traffic today, it will take you 30 minutes to get home" before you even ask it. But, if this freaks you out too much, you can turn off frequent locations tracking via this path: Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services > Frequent LocationsThe Strangers
Listening To You All The Time (Unless You Turn It Off)Check out that Privacy tab and see what apps you let your Microphone in on. That's right, some apps have access to your microphone (aka they can hear you whenever they want) and not all of them are apps you would expect. Messenger got some flack for having that setting, but I just checked mine and Instagram was listening to me even though I've never recorded a video directly on to there. This counts double if you use the "hey Siri" function on your phone. That means she's (and by she, I mean Apple) ALWAYS listening, no matter what, since you don't have to call her for your "convenience." Cool.Her
Comes With A ''Find My Friends'' AppWhat's up, apps no one asked for yet we can't delete off our phones. Wonder why that is? You can use this app to literally find your friends, wherever they are, using the location tracking services on their phones. This is really handy if you want to find your friend's lost phone, but really creepy if you're trying to avoid someone or have a modicum of privacy in your life. Just a thought! Turn off location settings on this app or get ready for anyone with your contact information to know where you are. May the odds be ever in your favor.Broad City
Uses Your Location To Customize AdsEver wonder how those adds get so specific it's weird? They use your location, your contacts list, Facebook friends, IP address, and things you recently Googled all to meticulously remind you of that thing you almost bought on Amazon as well as that cute online shop that they specifically know you'll love since you have a thing for jumpsuits. Bam! Thought it was just your laptop? Nope, it's your phone, too, and there's nothing you can do to stop it. Sorry!Black Mirror
It Tracks And Stores How Fast You Were DrivingOh, location services, you are the most favored perk and the creepiest thing to ever happen to phones. Thank your physics teacher for this one, but since your phone knows where you go and when you're going to arrive there, it can therefore track how fast you're going in your car, so what's up new drivers. Seems like no big deal since it's just an incidental thing, but you'd be wrong. Apple is creating a traffic database and your speeding is, like, *such* a crucial part of that map. They might not sell our speeding record to authorities who want it... but it can totally happen.Clueless
Knows Which Planes Are Overhead At Any Given TimeIf you ask Siri, she'll tell you what specific planes are overhead. Sound like harmless information? Sure. Does it sound like information anyone on that flight would want broadcast to random strangers who feel like asking Siri random things? Probably not. All I'm saying is that she knows that information and gives it on demand and that's creepy af. Who knows what else she'll parrot back to whoever asks? Bridesmaids
Which one of these do you think is the creepiest? Do you actually want your phone to do any of this stuff? Let us know in the comments!
You can follow the author, Aliee Chan, on Twitter.