With the Apple event just hours away Facebook has issued a blog post over it’s tracking of users. Originally introduced at WWDC19 iOS 13 makes several changes to location data for third-party apps.
iOS 13 presents a popup when you first launch an app if it requests bluetooth or location data, now at times there is a genuine reason for this, however, apps can use this type of data to track your location even if you have told it you do not want to be tracked, iOS 13 also provides popup notifications when an app is using your location in the background including a map of the location data a specific app has tracked.
In it’s blog post Facebook says “You’re in control of who sees your location on Facebook. You can control whether your device shares precise location information with Facebook via Location Services, a setting on your phone or tablet.”
“We may still understand your location using things like check-ins, events and information about your internet connection.”
Facebook then goes on to try and justify why it still tracks you by saying “We’ll continue to make it easier for you to control how and when you share your location. We’re always building new features to help you explore the world around you, including Local Alerts to keep you informed on breaking news and the new map in the Events tab to help you find things to do with friends nearby.”
Facebook doesn’t stop at justifying tracking of iOS users but also Android users where it specifically covers Android 10, “Earlier this year we introduced the Facebook background location setting to give people on Android a dedicated way to control whether their device’s precise location was being shared with Facebook even when you’re not using the app.”
Android users who decide to update to Android 10, will have the option to allow individual apps to access your precise location, either while you’re using the app or when you’re not. Facebook says that the Android 10 update “may cause a few instances where the Android and Facebook location settings will be out of sync. To address this issue, Facebook will continue to respect your most restrictive settings choice. For example, if your device location setting is set to “all of the time,” but your Facebook background location setting is off, we won’t collect your precise location information when you’re not using the Facebook app.”
However you use Facebook running location tracking in the background not only affects you battery usage but also provides Facebook to target you with ads based on your location history but also gives the company insights into your habits and giving Facebooks recent security blunders you may want to disable this feature.