Facebook Gives More Power to Android Users with “Location Settings”

Written by Bill Toulas
Last updated July 12, 2021

Suggesting the regulation of Facebook and threatening the social media giant with multi-billion fines does put pressure on it for sure. As announced in the company’s newsroom by Paul McDonald, the Facebook app will now provide more straight-forward and “honest” location tracking settings that will retract the cloak of invisibility from this aspect of the app’s functionality. More specifically, Android users will now get an option that allows them to control when the Facebook app collects data when people are not using it.

Until now, Facebook was working in the background, collecting location data if people had enabled the Location History in their Android devices. This allowed their Facebook friends to get notifications about when someone they know is nearby, and there was no way to stop this. With this update, users will gain the capacity to choose whether they want to share their location with others at all times or not. By default, the Facebook app will respect the previous setting when updated, so no data collection changes will be introduced by this update.



iOS users already had this additional option built-in the operating system, so they could select whether the “precise location” tracking is enabled or disabled when the app is not in use. However, this new version will distribute an alert to them as well, urging the checking of the settings from inside the app and the confirmation that the settings are correct.

With this new version of the Facebook app, both Android and iOS users will get three options, namely “never track precise location”, “only track while using the app”, and “track at all times”. While Facebook cannot compel users to go with an option of the above, it is apparent that they prefer that users set the app to "track the location at all times ". To justify this, they lay out a set of benefits that stem from following this approach. For example, users will be receiving more relevant ads, they will be better protected against unrecognized login attempts, they will be able to share favorite places with their friends, and finally to get help or stay safe during a crisis.

Are you using the Facebook app on Android or iOS? What location tracking setting have you selected? Share your comments below, and don’t forget that you can always join the discussion of our online community, on Facebook and Twitter.

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