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How to List Location Services Status Across All Macs

Using Kolide, You Can Easily View and Query Mac Location Services Status Across Your Fleet.

Introduction

Location Services are a configurable preference on macOS which allows full state (Location Services enabled/disabled) and granular control of various services and software which can interact with the Location Services API of your device. This inventory captures the global state of Location Services as well as the configuration of macOS System Services which collect location data. In addition to configuration state, this inventory also captures datetime data for determining when a system service accesses your device's location data.

For more information about macOS Location Services refer to the official Apple support documentation: Manage which apps can detect your Mac location

What Mac Location Services Status Data Can Kolide Collect?

Kolide's endpoint agent bundles in osquery to performantly collect Mac Location Services Status from Macs in your fleet. Once collected, Kolide will parse, clean up, and centrally store this data in Inventory for your team to view, query, or export via API.

Kolide metliciously documents every piece of data returned so you can understand the results.

Mac Location Services Status Schema

Column Type Description
id Primary Key

Unique identifier for the object

device_id Foreign Key

Device associated with the entry

device_name Text

Display name of the device associated with the entry

enabled Boolean

true if Location Serivces is enabled on the Mac else false

find_my_mac_status Enum::Text

The status of the Find My Mac background system service

Can be one of the following:

  • disabled
  • enabled
  • unknown
find_my_mac_time_end Timestamp

The precise time the Find My service stopped requesting data from the Location Services API. Note: If find_my_mac_time_end is NULL and the start time is not NULL then location collection is still ongoing.

find_my_mac_time_start Timestamp

The precise time the Find My service started requesting data from the Location Services API. Note: find_my_mac_time_start will be NULL when Find My is no longer collecting location data.

home_kit_status Enum::Text

The status of the Location Services HomeKit setting

Can be one of the following:

  • disabled
  • enabled
  • unknown
home_kit_time_end Timestamp

The precise time HomeKit stopped requesting data from the Location Services API. Note: If home_kit_time_end is NULL and the start time is not NULL then location collection is still ongoing.

home_kit_time_start Timestamp

The precise time HomeKit started requesting data from the Location Services API. Note: home_kit_time_start will be NULL when HomeKit is no longer collecting location data.

location_based_apple_ads_status Enum::Text

The status of the Location Based Apple Ads setting. This option was removed starting in macOS 11

Can be one of the following:

  • disabled
  • enabled
  • unknown
location_based_apple_ads_time_end Timestamp

The precise time the Apple Ads service stopped requesting data from the Location Services API. Note: If location_based_apple_ads_time_end is NULL and the start time is not NULL then location collection is still ongoing.

location_based_apple_ads_time_start Timestamp

The precise time the Apple Ads service started requesting data from the Location Services API. Note: location_based_apple_ads_time_start will be NULL when the Apple Ads service is no longer collecting location data.

location_based_suggestions_status Enum::Text

The status of the Location Based Suggestions setting.

Can be one of the following:

  • disabled
  • enabled
  • unknown
location_based_suggestions_time_end Timestamp

The precise time the Location Based Suggestions service stopped requesting data from the Location Services API. Note: If location_based_suggestions_time_end is NULL and the start time is not NULL then location collection is still ongoing.

location_based_suggestions_time_start Timestamp

The precise time the Location Based Suggestions service started requesting data from the Location Services API. Note: location_based_suggestions_time_start will be NULL when the Location Based Suggestions service is no longer collecting location data.

significant_locations_status Enum::Text

The status of the Location Services Significant Locations setting.

Can be one of the following:

  • disabled
  • enabled
  • unknown
significant_locations_time_end Timestamp

The precise time the Significant Locations service stopped requesting data from the Location Services API. Note: If significant_locations_time_end is NULL and the start time is not NULL then location collection is still ongoing.

significant_locations_time_start Timestamp

The precise time the Significant Locations service started requesting data from the Location Services API. Note: significant_locations_time_start will be NULL when the Significant Locations service is no longer collecting location data.

time_zone_and_system_customization_status Enum::Text

The status of the Time Zone and System Customization setting.

Can be one of the following:

  • disabled
  • enabled
  • unknown
time_zone_and_system_customization_time_end Timestamp

The precise time the Time Zone and System Customization feature stopped requesting data from the Location Services API. Note: If time_zone_and_system_customization_time_end is NULL and the start time is not NULL then location collection is still ongoing.

time_zone_and_system_customization_time_start Timestamp

The precise time the Time Zone and System Customization feature started requesting data from the Location Services API. Note: time_zone_and_system_customization_time_start will be NULL when the Time Zone and System Customization is no longer collecting location data.

wifi_networking_status Enum::Text

The status of the Location Services Wifi Networking setting.

Can be one of the following:

  • disabled
  • enabled
  • unknown
wifi_networking_time_end Timestamp

The precise time the Wifi Networking service stopped requesting data from the Location Services API. Note: If wifi_networking_time_end is NULL and the start time is not NULL then location collection is still ongoing.

wifi_networking_time_start Timestamp

The precise time the Wifi Networking service started requesting data from the Location Services API. Note: wifi_networking_time_start will be NULL when the Wifi networking service is no longer collecting location data.

collected_at Timestamp

Time the row of data was first collected in the database

updated_at Timestamp

Time the row of data was last changed in the database

What Can You Do With This Information?

Kolide enables you to write your own queries against the data the agent collects. This allows you to build your own reports and API endpoints. For example, you can:

Identify devices whose location services have been disabled (which also can prevent the Find My service from working)
Kolide SQL
SELECT device_id, device_name, enabled  FROM mac_location_services WHERE enabled = 'false'
Example Results
enabled device_name
false Mikes-MacBook-Pro
false Assans-MacBook-Air
false chris
false Laptop-2
false Loaner-MacBook-Pro

Why Should I Collect Mac Location Services Status?

The collection of Location Services configuration information allows an administrator to confirm whether Location Services are enabled and what System Services are permitted to collect location data. This information can be helpful for a variety of purposes including:

  • Determining whether Find My is misconfigured (Find My cannot work so long as Location Services are disabled)
  • Disabling Location Services for Time Zone can result in incorrect local system time during travel.

End-User Privacy Consideration

Kolide practices Honest Security. We believe that data should be collected from end-user devices transparently and with privacy in mind.

This inventory does not capture location information, only the configuration state of services which rely on location information.

When you use Kolide to list Mac Location Services Status data from end-user devices, Kolide gives the people using those devices insight into exactly what data is collected, the privacy implications, and who on the IT team can see the data. This all happens in our end-user privacy center which can be accessed by employees through Slack or Google Workspace account.

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