Location-based services | ACMA

Location-based services

Image of a map with a location pin

Location based services use technology to find the locations of mobile phones, people and services such as ATMs. Sometimes they’re used for marketing and product tracking and sometimes for coordinating aid activity in a disaster zone.

In a social networking context, users can “check in” at the locations they visit and see who else is nearby. It’s fun, you can often earn virtual points for “checking in” and the services are often integrated with other social networks like Facebook and Twitter.


  • Letting people know you are not at home, poses a security risk
  • Checking to public places may give people an impression of your personal and social patterns
  • People you don’t know or expect may follow your movements


Location-based services. A survey of Australian users of location-based services found: 72% of those accessing the internet via their mobile phone use a location service at least once a week. 74% use location services to check the local weather. 74% use location services to check the local weather. 47% use location services to find local entertainment, dining options, petrol stations, ATMs and other services. 76% use location services to share their location with friends. 38% use location services related to social interactions at least twice a day. Almost 50% didn't know it was possible to turn off location services. 71% are concerned with information being sold to a third party. 88% felt there was a need for information to help them protect their personal information. Source: Here, there and everywhere - Consumer behaviour and location services, December 2012, ACMA

Last updated: 03 March 2019