Facebook improves location settings, adds new privacy control on Android

Facebook logo

San
Francisco, Feb 21. Facebook is adding a new privacy control feature to its
Android app that will allow users to block the app from collecting and saving
their background location information.

“We’re
introducing a new background location control on Facebook for Android so people
can choose if they want us to collect location information when they’re not
using the app,” Paul McDonald, Engineering Director, Location
Infrastructure, Facebook wrote in a blog-post on Wednesday.

Until now,
users using features location like “Nearby Friends” or
“Check-in” on Facebook were asked to enable their “Location
History” setting.

Enabling the
“Location Sharing” feature shared the user location even when the app
was not being used, allowing Facebook to store that history.

“With
this update, you’ll have a dedicated way to choose whether or not to share your
location when you aren’t using the app,” McDonald said.

Facebook
is updating Access Your Information feature

Facebook is
also updating the “Access Your Information” feature to include an
estimate of users’ primary location at the city or postal code level.

“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,” McDonald
added.

This update
announcement came just days after Facebook’s security team had used location
information to track missing interns and users deemed to be threats, The Verge
reported.

Location
Services setting in Facebook

For iOS
users though the location setting was not such big an issue as Facebook would
send an alert to users who chose to turn on the “Location History”
feature so that they could check to make sure their settings are right for
them.

The
‘Location Services’ setting for iOS also comes with three choices — Never,
While Using and Always — for when an app could access the precise location of
the users.

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