Facebook admits to accessing user location data in app even when opted out

In a letter to two US senators, Facebook confirmed that it could track user’s locations.

Facebook was earlier accused of accessing the location data of its users despite the Location Services being switched off. The social media giant has accepted that it indeed continues to access data even after users opt-out of it.

Image: Reuters

Image: Reuters

Reported by 9to5Mac, Facebook confirmed its deceptive practice in a letter addressed to two senators in the US. According to the letter, the company uses three different methods to track the user’s location and only one of them requires Location Services to be switched on.

In the letter, it explained that when users interact with an event, say a music concert, upload a location-tagged photo or video, or someone posts a "check-in" with a photo or video and tags them, it gives Facebook an idea of where the user could be located. Adding the home address also allows the company to locate the user.

Facebook also tracks the IP address of its users that points out the location of the device, hence the location of the user on the Internet. However, it also said that this method isn’t accurate.

While this behaviour adds to the company’s scandalous mishandling of user data, it went on to justify this practice. Facebook said that it sneakily continued tracking user’s location so that it could appropriately filter ads and sponsored posts. Naturally, the response was highly criticised by the senators.

At this point, it’s just fair to assume that Facebook doesn’t care about the privacy of its users.

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