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  • Meerelle Cruz

Facebook Is Modifying How It Uses Location Services

Facebook users are now being alerted to the update in their notifications stream since Meta is gradually modifying how it uses Location Services on Facebook, as shown in this example notification posted by social media specialist Matt Navarra.

These services will no longer be available after May 31st, 2022, when Meta will stop collecting the information necessary to power these elements, even if you had previously enabled them, according to Meta. According to Meta, on August 1st, all of your previously logged information relating to these functions will be destroyed.

Low usage is the reason for this – people don't care about certain features, hence Meta is deleting them. That makes sense, but Meta isn't known for handing over user data lightly, and it's unlikely that it's opted to discount this new information on its own.

It may assist Meta in shrinking the size of these notifications, which are now visible to all Facebook users on iOS. Perhaps Meta can delete some of these aspects of the ATT prompts by removing these less critical data tracking capabilities, making customers less likely to turn off data tracking totally.

When asked for more information, Facebook stated:

“While we’re deprecating some location-based features on Facebook due to low usage, people can still use Location Services to manage how their location information is collected and used.”

Even if a user has opted out of location monitoring via Apple's ATT update, it was claimed late last year that Facebook had been exploiting device accelerometer data as an alternative method of determining user whereabouts.

Because the accelerometer is used for other purposes than device tracking, Facebook engineers discovered a way to match up location data even when a user had told the app to stop tracking them, and the company may be now under pressure to stop doing so as a workaround to avoid the Apple restrictions.

Meta and Google have both received big fines for tracking user data, and it's possible that a fresh drive is being built to limit Meta's efforts to circumvent these safeguards, which is why it's going ahead of any legal problems and deleting the options immediately. Or, as Facebook suggests, people don't use these services and, given the constant changes, they're more trouble than they're worth.

Whatever the cause, Facebook is poised to lose yet more data that it might use to power its massive advertising engine.

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