Facebook introduces new privacy controls for location data on Android

Doris Richards
February 22, 2019

On the other hand on Android, you can either totally enable location info sharing or disable it.

In another gesture of transparency, Facebook is also updating the Access Your Information tool on user profiles to include the social network's estimate of your primary location down to the city or postal code level. Blame it on Android. "We're not making any changes to the choices you've previously made nor are we collecting any new information as a result of this update", added the Engineering Director. Android is hampered by an all-or-nothing approach.

Sure, it might not make up for Cambridge Analytica or the many other privacy scandals Facebook has been involved in, but, um, it's a start? This is a feature some users want to take advantage of, for example, if they want to know when friends are nearby.

Ad fraud isn't new, but Oracle said that this particular type of behaviour could be unique because of the impact it had on mobile users, as well as on advertisers and publishers.

For those who are unaware, Facebook's Location History option (when switched on) allowed you to share your location at all times and store your location history. So if you had them off, they will stay off but if you had them on you can now choose to restrict it to while using the app only.

An updated version of Facebook for Android introduces a new Background Location control. But several former employees questioned the ethical implications of this type of security maneuver, with one person referring to the tactic as "very Big Brother-esque", according to CNBC. It should be mentioned that those who never turned on Location History won't have to go through these steps. And when you turn it off, they can't access it in anymore.

Simply tap on the Location services to turn off the location tracking.

As for the users concerned about this update affecting their previous privacy settings, there is nothing to be anxious about. There should be a notification regarding the new background location setting (as seen in the image below). This basically restricts the location tracking to when you are actually within the app and stops when you quit the app.

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