Facebook is removing a number of location tracking tools as privacy regulations evolve Could this be just another victim of Apple’s recent data monitoring tweak in its iOS operating system?
Meta is quietly changing the way it uses location services in Facebook, with the deprecation of several local features in the app including nearby friends, weather alerts, and location history.
As you can see in this sample notification shared by a social media expert, Matt Navarra , users are now being made aware of the update in their Facebook notification stream.
These services will no longer be available after May 31, 2022, according to a fuller explanation of the change provided by Meta Software.
Regardless of whether you had previously enabled these items, Meta will no longer gather the information necessary to operate them at that moment. All of your previously logged information connected to these features, according to Meta, will be destroyed on August 1, 2018.
So, what is the reason for the change?
We reached out to Facebook for further information about the postponement, and they responded with the following explanation:
Despite the fact that we are discontinuing some location-based products on Facebook owing to low usage, people can still utilize location services to choose how their location information is gathered and used.”
There has been so little use of these features that Meta has decided to remove them because users don’t seem to care.
Which is understandable but then again, Meta isn’t known for handing over user data so readily, and it’s unlikely that the company was selected only to offer these new insights on its own initiative.
It’s possible that Meta will aid in the reduction of the size of the notifications that are now displayed to all Facebook users on iOS devices.
Perhaps, by removing these less-essential data-tracking technologies, Meta will be able to remove some of these items from ATT prompts, reducing the likelihood that consumers will turn data-tracking off completely.
Perhaps it has something to do with the more stringent data privacy legislation in Europe, as well as the direction in which the trends are moving.
Apple’s ATT update, which was released late last year, revealed that Facebook had begun exploiting device accelerometer data as an alternative method of pinpointing users’ locations, even if the user had deactivated location tracking.
In addition to device tracking, Facebook engineers appear to have figured out a way to use accelerometer data to match location data, even if a person had told the app to stop tracking them.
It is possible that the company is now under pressure to stop this practice as well, as a sort of workaround to circumvent the limitations of Apple’s change.
As a result, Meta and Google have both received significant fines for tracking user data, and it’s possible that a new push is developing to limit Meta’s efforts to circumvent these measures. As a result, Meta is now taking a step back and removing the options completely, rather than pursuing legal action.
As Facebook points out, consumers don’t really use these services, and with the constant updates that are being implemented, they’re becoming more of a hassle than they’re worth.
Whatever the cause, Facebook is on the danger of losing yet another batch of data that it could have used to improve its already-impressive ad-serving capabilities.
Again, it appears odd that Meta would do this on its own initiative, but we have no further information as to why it has decided to take this action at this point. My best judgment is that new regulations will be issued in the near future that will explain the situation.