Facebook is getting rid of some location tracking features due to ‘low usage’

Facebook is discontinuing several services that track your real-time location, including Nearby Friends, weather alerts, location history, and background location, due to “low usage,” as detected by Facebook. 9to5Mac. In a notification sent to people who have used the feature in the past, Facebook says it will stop collecting data associated with these features on May 31 and will delete stored data on August 1.

Facebook’s parent company, Meta, confirmed the news to the edge. “While we are phasing out 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,” spokesman Emil Vázquez said in a statement sent by Facebook. email.

However, this does not mean that Facebook will stop collecting location data entirely. As stated in its note to users, Facebook says it will “continue to collect location information for other experiences” to serve relevant ads and location tracking based on your data. politics. May view, download or delete any location data the platform saved within the Settings and Privacy menu. Otherwise, Facebook will automatically delete all stored data related to its discontinued services on August 1.

I don’t think many of us are sad to see these characteristics disappear. (Not many people seem to trust Facebook for weather alerts these days.) Nearby Friends, which Facebook introduced in 2014, allowed the Facebook app to share your real-time location with your friends, and vice versa, in order to set up in-person meetings with people close to you. Understandably, its popularity waned over the years after similar features, like Snapchat’s Snap Map and Apple’s Find My Friends, took hold.

Given that Facebook doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to keeping user data safe, it’s actually more of a relief that Facebook is getting rid of these location-based features. Facebook began allowing Android users to turn off background location tracking in 2019 after a report revealed that Facebook tracked users’ locations if they made a “credible” threat. (Apple already allows users to turn off location tracking for specific apps.)

You can read Facebook’s full message to users here:

Because you previously used Nearby Friends, Weather Alerts, Location History, or Background Location, please be advised that these products and features will no longer be available after May 31, 2022. The information you shared that was used for these experiences, including location history and background location will stop collecting after May 31, 2022, even if you have previously enabled them. Otherwise, Facebook will continue to collect location information for other experiences, as described in our Data Policy.

Update your settings

You can update your current Location History and Background Location settings in the Facebook app until May 31, 2022. After this date, the setting will be disabled.

Access your location history

If you want to view or delete your existing Location History, you can access and download your information before August 1, 2022. After this date, if you do nothing, your existing Location History information will automatically be deleted.

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