What is the first thing that pops up in your mind when you hear “Facebook”? Maybe the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal? Is it the 419 million users personal information leak? Or it’s the company’s vision to “connect the world”? Or how Facebook tracks your location every second?
One way or another, the truth is that from the privacy standpoint the Menlo Park social media behemoth has gotten itself in a lot of hot water regarding managing the precious data of the users. That’s why I would strongly advise you to revise the things you’re sharing with Facebook. Starting with your location.
Why allowing Facebook to track your exact location is a bad idea?
There are two dimensions to that. Let’s assume that your location settings are on at all times.
First scenario: your account was hacked. It happens more often than you think. If the Facebook location tracking is allowed then the app stores everything in the section called “Location History”.
Now, if the bad guys accessed your account, by enabling location collection you’re basically giving them a full picture of your movements.
Turning location off is a security advice. So, please, do it.
Second scenario: you are deliberately sharing your exact location with a big tech corporation that mines your data, analyzes it and constantly sells it to third parties.
What’s your benefit in it? According to Facebook, it’s “to provide more relevant and personalised experiences, protect your account and provide better ads”.
Provide better ads. Is it something you really want for giving all your precise whereabouts to the company with a bad reputation with privacy? We think that the deal isn’t worth it. So, please, turn it off.
Does the word “privacy” may even apply to Facebook?
According to Mark Zuckerberg in his post-Cambridge Analytica presentation in April 2019 – “Future [of Facebook] is private”.
According to Facebook’s lawyer Orin Snyder defending the company against the class-action privacy lawsuit that arose from the Cambridge Analytica scandal – “There is no invasion of privacy at all, because there is no privacy”.
You know what they say, “it is often easier to fight for your principles than to live up to them”.
I’m not saying that Facebook is lying when saying that the personal data of users is in a secure place. I’m just saying that you should be very careful with what you’re sharing with them. And location is one of the most sensitive pieces of information out there.
How exactly do you turn off Facebook location tracking?
Kudos to Facebook, in recent years they have made privacy-related settings in their social media platform easier to navigate. Basically, what you have to do is to find the menu and untick two boxes. Voila.
Here’s the step-by-step of turning off location tracking on Facebook
Both iOS and Android
Step 1: Go to the menu and open the Privacy Shortcuts tab.
Step 2: Open the Manage your location settings in the Privacy tab
Step 3: Here it is, the control room for everything location-related. Be sure to turn off the location services and the location history.
Step 4: Take a deep breath of relief, from now on you’re a little bit more private on Facebook. You can see the true power of location collection opening View Your Location History tab.
Note: on iPhones you can control which apps use your location in the phone settings. You can go there, open the Location settings, find Facebook and disable the location tracking.
But don’t forget about doing the aforementioned in the Facebook app too. And be sure to clear your location history.