Foursquare, makers of the popular app that lets you “check in” wherever you go, unveiled a new version this week that the company hopes will make it the go-to service for local search.

In fact, Foursquare founder and CEO Dennis Crowley hopes the new Foursquare app will become indispensable, providing users with tips and recommendations – more like targeted ads – based on their location.

“To actually get an app to talk to you like a friend would talk to you. That’s what we’re going at here,” Crowley tells Wired in an interview.

In order to make this vision become a reality, the Foursquare app tracks users’ “background location” – using a combination of GPS, nearby Wi-Fi signals, and cell towers – even when the app is closed.

How to opt out

Foursquare Location settingsWhen you download the Foursquare app or update to the new version, the app tells you that your phone’s background location will be tracked, and points you to the settings to turn it off.

To opt out, open the app and go to  Settings | Location Settings and un-tick the box next to Location Services.

This screen tells you that the feature will be turned off automatically if your battery is running low, but it somewhat obscures the fact that the feature is otherwise always on.

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