Facebook update for Android gives more control over location settings

Ruben Fields
February 22, 2019

Not everyone will encourage this process and if you are among the one who doesn't want to share your location data with Facebook then you can stop the mobile app from tracking your location and allow it to do the same only when you use it.

Until now, Android offered a single on/off switch for Location Services for all the apps at the same time, which allowed a user to either enable the location for all apps, or disable, there was no in-between. Now, as good news (at least for me), the social media site has added improvements to its location settings, giving users more control over their location data.

And if you're an Apple user asking why you aren't getting that update, Apple already offers controls and blocks for app background use. Likewise, for users who had turned Location History "off" - or never turned it on in the first place - the new background location setting will remain "off". The change brings parity to the iOS and Android Facebook apps. Some of the Google ones might be region locked preventing you from using them, as is the case with YouTube Go for example. So if you had them off, they will stay off but if you had them on you can now choose to restrict it to while using the app only.

Once installed on an Android phone, the apps would run video ads in the background that the user would never see.

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Notably, Facebook said it wouldn't be "collecting any new information as a result of this update".

This keeps apps, like Facebook, constantly informed about your location data if your location settings are on. That's why the latest changes wouldn't affect people using iOS. Facebook will also update their "Access Your Information" section to include estimates of your primary location at the city or postal code level.

In France, location data provider Teemo found that with more transparency and control, as compelled under GDRP, users were highly likely to opt-in to share location (70+ percent).

Google Play Protect will also start warning users when they try to install outdated apps from outside the Play Store.

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