Facebook is adding a new privacy control feature to its Android app that will allow users to block the app from collecting and saving their background location information.
“We’re introducing a new background location control on Facebook for Android so people can choose if they want us to collect location information when they’re not using the app,” Paul McDonald, Engineering Director, Location Infrastructure, Facebook wrote in a blog post on Wednesday.
Until now, users using features location like “Nearby Friends” or “Check-in” on Facebook were asked to enable their “Location History” setting. Enabling the “Location Sharing” feature shared the user location even when the app was not being used, allowing Facebook to store that history.
“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,” McDonald said.
Facebook is also updating the “Access Your Information” feature to include an estimate of users’ primary location at the city or postal code level.
“We’re not making any changes to the choices you’ve previously made nor are we collecting any new information as a result of this update,” McDonald added.
This update announcement came just days after Facebook’s security team had used location information to track missing interns and users deemed to be threats, The Verge reported.
For iOS users through the location setting was not such big an issue as Facebook would send an alert to users who chose to turn on the “Location History” feature so that they could check to make sure their settings are right for them. The ‘Location Services’ setting for iOS also comes with three choices- Never, While Using and Always for when an app could access the precise location of the users.