- Telegramâ€™s â€œPeople Nearbyâ€� feature could potentially reveal your location.
- Youâ€™d just need GPS tools and triangulation to determine where someone lives.
- Telegram has said the functionality doesnâ€™t need to be fixed.
Telegram is ostensibly focused on privacy, but its approach to location sharing is raising some concerns. Security-conscious user Ahmed has warned that the messaging appâ€™s â€œPeople Nearbyâ€� feature exposes locations online in a way determined observers could find.
While Telegramâ€™s feature only shows the distance between you and other users, itâ€™s not hard to get more exact location data. You can use a GPS spoofing device, root your phone (again to spoof GPS) or even walk around to triangulate positions. After that, itâ€™s just a matter of entering the coordinates in a mapping tool to get the address.
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Youâ€™re effectively â€œpublishing your home address online,â€� Ahmed said.
Telegram reportedly isnâ€™t worried about the privacy implications. People Nearby users are â€œintentionallyâ€� sharing their locations, the company said, and the feature isnâ€™t enabled by default. Itâ€™s â€œexpectedâ€� that you could gauge the exact location under the right circumstances, the companyâ€™s security team said.
You wonâ€™t have to worry about inadvertently sharing your whereabouts as a result. Still, Telegramâ€™s location feature could create serious privacy problems for those unaware of how it works. It could be used to harass or stalk people who only think theyâ€™re sharing relative distances. Donâ€™t turn on People Nearby if youâ€™re seriously concerned that someone might track you down, even if the likelihood of someone exploiting this feature isnâ€™t particularly high.