Facebook changes Location Settings on Android

Facebook is one social network, always mired by questions about privacy. Questions about how they are tracking & using the data of its account holders. To their credit, Facebook always takes strides to ensure the users are in control of their data. Amid these questions, Facebook is now changing the way it uses location settings on Android phones. Until now, your location was being used anytime, even if the app was running in the background. Now, users will be able to decide when the app will have access to the location settings.

As per Facebook:

“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.”

So what now?

Believe it or not, this wasn’t always the case. Facebook had flexibility in the ways they could use this option on Android. In iOS, users had more control over how their location was being used. This announcement by Facebook will certainly make them more popular with the masses. Users get more control over how their data is used, Facebook gets applauded for being proactive in making it happen.

There is a potential downside of promoting this step. Facebook has been tracking location data on Android users for a while. This might not go down well with some people even if Facebook won’t do it anymore without permission. The whole situation still works in favor of Facebook. Facebook has agreed to prompt all users about using their location settings. Most people would eventually leave the location access switched on, not bothering to toggle the option on and off. Facebook still gets praised for being a proactive company doing everything in its power to give more control to its users. A smart move indeed!

What to you think about this announcement, let us know in the comments. Until next time!

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Aseem Gupta

Aseem Gupta

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