Think your location is private? This ‘Love is Blind’ star may have thought so too

A woman watches reality TV and learns about location tracking on her smart phone while riding the metro.

Cheaters, if you’re trying to be slick: Beware. In season six of the hit Netflix series "Love is Blind," one cast member, Jeramey, shares his location with his fiancé, Laura, when he’s out for the evening. When she asks the next morning where he was, considering he didn’t get home until 6 a.m., he says he was at the bar—and that she should know that because he shared his location.

A back and forth ensues (the details of which we don’t need to go into) but it ends with Laura dropping the bomb that she knows he wasn’t in the parking lot: He was in the part of town where another woman he dated during the show lives.

But how could she know where he really was if he’d left his location tracking device (aka his phone) behind?

Well, eagle-eyed Redditors have a theory. As soon as Laura gets up to leave the room, Jeramey glances at his watch and then immediately picks up his phone to check something. And, unfortunately for Jeramey, he’s maybe realizing that his watch would have started tracking him as soon as he left his phone behind.

(We should note that we don’t know whether Jeramey cheated. But, as you’ll see, it seems clear he wasn’t at the bar.)

 Why would a smart watch start tracking someone’s location?

When you leave your phone behind with location services turned on, your smart watch can take over the role of tracking your location. This happens because smart watches are designed to work seamlessly with compatible phones, providing a continuous user experience even when the two devices are separated.

If your iPhone is connected to your Apple Watch via Bluetooth or the same wifi network, the watch detects when the iPhone is out of range and automatically switches to its own location services. This means that if you leave your phone at a specific location and move away with your watch on your wrist, the watch will start using its built-in GPS (if available) or wifi to track your movements—and, importantly, send that info to the cloud—ensuring that your location data remains up-to-date.

This feature is particularly useful for those who use their smart watch for fitness tracking or for safety reasons. But in some scenarios, it can cause big problems: If Jeramey intentionally left his phone behind, he clearly didn’t think about the fact that his watch continued to track his location.

Other ways your location can be tracked that you might not even know about

Smartwatches aren’t the only devices that might give away when someone isn’t doing what they said they were doing: There are a ton of ways your devices might be tracking you that you’re not even aware of. Even if you’re not trying to be deceptive, you should be aware of the many ways people in your life could potentially track your location for your own privacy and (potentially) safety.

Here are a few:

1. Apple's Find My feature

The "Find My" feature on Apple devices is typically used to locate misplaced items like your iPhone or AirPods case. However, it also offers location-sharing with friends and family. Regularly review who has permission to see your whereabouts and remove anyone who shouldn't have this access.

 2. Shared Google accounts

Having a shared Google Account can expose your Google Maps history to your partner. If you're concerned about them discovering locations you've visited, you have a couple of options: remove their access to the account or disable and clear your location history in Google Maps settings.

 3. Location sharing on Google Maps

Google Maps allows for real-time location sharing with others. If you've previously shared your location with your partner, they could track your current whereabouts. Check your Google Maps settings under "Location Sharing" to manage who can see your location.

 4. Tagged locations on social media

Tagging your location on social media platforms can inadvertently reveal your whereabouts. If you're trying to maintain privacy, be cautious about tagging locations, especially if your partner follows your social media accounts. Consider adjusting your privacy settings on platforms like Instagram and Facebook to prevent unintentional location sharing.

 5. Smartphone car key apps

If you drive a connected vehicle, controlled via a smartphone app, your partner could use this to track the car's location. Discussing boundaries may be necessary as disabling this feature might not be an option. Ensure that your partner does not have unnecessary access to the car's smartphone app.

 6. Location sharing in iMessages

iMessage allows users to share their location indefinitely with others. If you have previously enabled location sharing with your partner (or anyone else) via iMessage, they could track your location continuously. Review your iMessage settings and adjust who can see your location by tapping "info" in your conversation threads.

 7. Snapchat Snap Map

Snapchat's Snap Map feature allows you to share your location with friends. If you've enabled this feature in the past, your partner might be able to see your current location. Ensure that your location-sharing settings on Snapchat are configured to share only with individuals you trust.

If Jeramey was as clever as he thinks he is, maybe he could have gotten away with this deception. (Probably not though; Laura seems pretty savvy.) But, really, even if you’re not allegedly trying to rendezvous with someone who isn’t your fiancé, take a moment to review the privacy settings on your devices and consider which apps really need access to your location. Remember: the control is in your hands. Just not, apparently, Jeramey’s.

Emma McGowan
  • Emma McGowan
Emma McGowan is a privacy advocate & managing editor at Gen, formerly a freelance writer for outlets like Buzzfeed & Mashable. She enjoys reading, sewing, & her cats Dwight & Poe.

Editorial note: Our articles provide educational information for you. Our offerings may not cover or protect against every type of crime, fraud, or threat we write about. Our goal is to increase awareness about Cyber Safety. Please review complete Terms during enrollment or setup. Remember that no one can prevent all identity theft or cybercrime, and that LifeLock does not monitor all transactions at all businesses. The Norton and LifeLock brands are part of Gen Digital Inc. 


    Want more?

    Follow us for all the latest news, tips and updates.