Facebook has announced an update to the Facebook app’s location controls on Android to give people more choice over how it collects location information and how it stores the data it collects. The company clarified that it is not changing users previously made choices nor it is collecting any new information as a result of this update.
The new background location control on Facebook for Android lets users to chose if they want to collect location information when they’re not using the app. For example, when users 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.
Prior to this change, users 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.
For people who previously chose to turn their Location History setting “on,” the new background location setting is “on.” For people who had turned Location History “off” – or never turned it on in the first place – the new background location setting is “off.” Facebook clarified that it is alerting everyone using the Facebook app on an Android device who chose to turn on Location History in the past, letting them know about the new control, and asking them to take a moment to check that their settings are right for them. It also said that for the user who uses Facebook for iOS, nothing is changing. But it is sending a similar alert to everyone who chose to turn on Location History in the past.