To make it possible for users to share their favorite places on Facebook or find friends in their vicinity, the app retrieves information about the location of the user device in the background. However, this only happens if the user agrees to
Facebook yesterday announced an update that now also allows users of Android to only share their location while the app is running.
So far it worked like this
Android and iOS offer their users different options for sharing location information with apps in their settings.
iOS offers three options:
- Never: Apps can not access the exact location of the user.
- When in Use: Apps can access the exact location of the user while they are using the app.
- Always: The app can access the exact location of the user, even if they do not use the app.
Android only two:
- Off: Apps can not access the exact location of the user.
- On: Apps can always access the exact location of the user.
For example, if an Android user wanted to use the Nearby Friends feature on Facebook, they were prompted to enable Location History. If they did, his location history was also saved if he did not use the app.
Understandably, Android users often expressed concerns that Facebook could tap into location information even when the app was not in use. This should be over now.
New option for Android users
Since yesterday Android users can also adjust that Facebook may pursue their location only during the use of the app.
The Facebook statement says:
“We’re alerting everyone using the Facebook app on an Android device who chose to turn on Location History in the past, letting them know about the new control, and asking them to take a moment to check that their settings are right for them. If you’ve never turned on Location History, you don’t have to do anything. We won’t turn either of these settings on unless you specifically tell us to.”
That sounds great at first, but it also means that every Android user who has had their Location History enabled needs to take action to make sure Facebook does not continue to pin it down permanently.