The Android Facebook app adds a new privacy control option that allows users to block the social network application from locating address information without opening the app. Just a few days before the announcement of this privacy measure, CNBC reported that Facebook’s security team used location information to track the geographic location of potentially threatening customers.
On the Android platform, APP access to your geographic location information can be said to be “one size fits all”: either completely block the APP from accessing your geographic location information, or let the APP gain full geographic access. This is determined by the Android system’s settings. Google requires the app to use geolocation information with the user’s permission, but there is no option to determine when the app can use your location.
Facebook emphasizes that this feature has never been used in the past to review Android users’ background location information, unless the user has enabled an option called “location history”, such as reminding you of nearby friends and other features that will use the location feature. But now, Facebook offers more specific options for accessing geographic permissions, and users can approve or deny applications to access your location at any time.
On iOS, Apple has provided the option to prevent applications from using your location in the background, so no updates are required. Facebook said it will send alerts to iOS and Android users asking users to review their location settings.
CNBC reported last week that Facebook would analyze the geographic location that its mobile app collected, or the IP address of a web user. However, further action will only be taken after the user has been placed on the “Be On the Lookout” (BOLO) watch list. As for Facebook’s security staff, Facebook’s own products can be used to identify and track anyone he believes to be a threat.
CNBC pointed out that in addition to the threat of violence, there are also many ambiguous complaints that will be included in the BOLO watch list, such as the malicious curse of Mark Zuckerberg, but also as a reason to track users.