Facebook can still track you even with your location settings off, the company admitted in a letter to US senators. And that is possible because the platform already has access to all the information they need to pinpoint your precise location. This happens even if you have denied sharing your location data to the app.
The company explained its practices and how it can do this in a letter to the US senators. Facebook had earlier been questioned about their location-tracking policies by the US officials, and they had nothing to hide other than say it explicitly as it is.
One of the apparent clues Facebook can rely on is your IP address. The company also leverages on the photos you have been tagged in at a specific place or check-ins at a location. Other details that can help the company scoop your location is based on your activity on Facebook.
“When location services is off, Facebook may still understand people’s locations using information people share through their activities on Facebook or through IP addresses and other network connections they use,” Facebook deputy chief privacy officer Rob Sherman wrote in the letter.
Is this Necessary?
According to Facebook, tracking user location is beneficial for keeping the user account safe. This also applies to other internet companies as well and is an important aspect that is used for the security of online accounts. Facebook also serves Ads based on user location.
Recipients of the information were not all happy about the truth. Some officials criticized the company for making money off personal information.
“There is no opting out. No control over your personal information. That’s Big Tech. And that’s why Congress needs to take action,” said Republican Senator, Josh Hawley in a tweet.
“Facebook claims that users are in control of their own privacy, but in reality, users aren’t even given an option to stop Facebook from collecting and monetizing their location information,” said Senator Christopher Coons.