Facebook offers Android users iOS-like control over background location tracking

Ruben Fields
February 21, 2019

Facebook is updating its Android and iOS app to offer users increased control over location tracking.

Facebook on Wednesday released new location controls for Android that lets users limit location data collection.

Previously, the Facebook app for Android either let you keep location services off or on. So, if you had previously opted out of Facebook keeping your Location History, the new background location tracking option will default to off, but if you had Location History on, this new setting will also be on by default.

Facebook is also alerting all users who chose to turn on Location History in the past about this new control.

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This new setting improves upon the background location - that is, if the app can access your location even when you're not using it - offering a two-step process.

If you have never enabled the Location History setting, you don't have to do anything, unless you now wish to change your settings. The company recently introduced income targeting by ZIP code. The collection of location data has become a central issue in the privacy debate in the US, which is gaining momentum.

Of course, all that said, it should be noted that this only applies to the Facebook app and not to any of Facebook's other apps. In addition, a majority of users were more aware of the use of their personal data by marketers this year than they were last year. He writes a personal blog, Screenwerk, about connecting the dots between digital media and real-world consumer behavior.

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