Category : Technology
It seems that the company has failed to convince American legislators that it must constantly track its users, which it has done so far without any embarrassment.
In response to a letter from several senators who suggested that Facebook should give its users the ability to decide when they want to be located, the company decided to explain why it is acting differently and follows them, even if they turned it off! The company also explained exactly how this is possible, even if users turn off localization from their operating system.
It turns out that when we turn off localization, Facebook is able to deduce more or less precise location based on the tags next to the pictures or the IP of our device. Of course, this is not as precise a method as with enabled location tracking, but the company is still able to use this data for many different purposes, and one is supposedly a security function that allows you to warn users that access to their account occurred from an unusual for them safety.
Facebook has also admitted that it targets displayed ads based on limited location information when the user disables or restricts application access to location tracking. The group also does not allow users to disable such ads, although it allows blocking the collection of data on their exact location: - Almost all Facebook ads are targeted based on location, but most of these popular ones apply to specific cities or even larger areas. Otherwise, people living in Washington would receive information about services or events from across the world, and vice versa.
And although this sounds quite convincing, some aspects of the case are really worrying, because Facebook explicitly admits that it tracks our location, even if we top-down this option from the level of our operating system, and all for commercial purposes. Fortunately, the authors of the letter think similarly, which Facebook translation did not convince and they expect further steps. One of them, Chris Coons, explains:
- We appreciate Facebook's attempts to inform users about possible privacy options. However, the effort seems to be insufficient and even misleading in the light of how Facebook actually treats user data. In response to our letter, Facebook explicitly admitted that there is no way for us to prohibit the site from tracking our location, which serves advertising purposes, even if we disable tracking. Facebook claims that users have control over their privacy, but in fact users don't even have the option to stop Facebook from collecting their data and monetizing it. Americans deserve to know how technology companies are using their data, so I will continue to try to protect the sensitive data of Americans.