Facebook’s Android app will finally let users opt out of location sharing

The social networking giant,
Facebook has not had a happy start to the New Year. There were several data privacy concerns against Facebook that were raised in 2018 as well which caused a lot of damage to its brand credibility.

Facebook has now announced an important change to ensure user privacy and security. Now the users can easily decide how much of their location dates will be stored and shared with Facebook.

iPhone users have an option to allow an app to use the location data only when it is open. Facebook’s app offers only two options of toggling the data i.e. on and off. Android users with location data turned on give Facebook a constant view of their day to day activities which raises serious security .concerns Facebook claims that this data helps the company in tailor-making the ad experience for its users.

In the official blog post, Facebook’s engineering director Paul McDonald said, “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.”

At the same time, Facebook will not make any changes to the choices that Android users make. The company will not collect any new information as a result of the update. Users with location history turned on will receive an alert. The Facebook app will direct them to a feature in the app privacy settings where they can choose to use their location only when the app is open.

Prior to this update, Android users were faced with an all-or-nothing approach to share their location data. If users granted the app to access their location, the app would collect all the data even when the app is not being run in the background. It is because Apple has blocked apps from accessing user’s location data, Facebook did not add this feature to its iOS app.

The concerns around the way how apps track users and their location data has forced Facebook to take this decision.