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Facebook sucks when it comes to privacy. It's a well-known fact, but if you haven't already trashed your Facebook account, they're looking to win back some of your love. As announced today, the company has started to roll out changes to location controls on Android.
Today 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. For example, when people choose to use Nearby Friends, a feature that lets friends share their locations with each other, they give Facebook permission to access their location even when they're not using the app.
Until today, people using these features were asked to enable Location History. If you enabled this setting, two things happened: you would share your location when you weren't using the app, and you would allow Facebook to store a history of your precise locations. 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.
For people who previously chose to turn their Location History setting "on," the new background location setting is "on." For people who had turned Location History "off" – or never turned it on in the first place – the new background location setting is "off."
As part of the changes, Facebook is alerting everyone who chose to turn on Location History in the past and letting them decide which settings may work best for them. If you never turned on Location history, Facebook says you're good to go and don't have to do anything nor will you see the alert.
If for some reason you, I dunno, don't really trust Facebook to alert you to the options you can check on them manually yourself. Here's how:
- Tap the settings menu on the top right
- Go to Settings & Privacy
- Choose Privacy Shortcuts
- Choose Manage your location settings
- Turn location tracking off
Does having more privacy controls through Facebook make you feel better about using it or have they eroded their trust so bad that even with the controls in place, it's hard to imagine that they even work? Let me know in the comments how you feel about it all.