Facebook is discontinuing several location-tracking features such as; Nearby Friends, weather alerts, background location, Location History, and more.

Facebook is discontinuing several location-tracking features such as; Nearby Friends, weather alerts, background location, Location History, and more. Facebook is quietly notifying users via in-app prompts and emails but the company hasn’t made a public announcement yet.

Facebook’s location-tracking features to end by 31st May

In a notification sent to people, Facebook said that it will stop collecting data associated with location-tracking features on May 31st and will wipe any stored data on August 1st. Meta’s spokesperson, Emil Vazquez, said in a statement; “While we’re deprecating 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.”

A social media consultant, Matt Navarra, shared the screenshot of the latest development in a tweet saying; “Facebook is removing Nearby Friends, Weather Alerts, and location history features from May 31st, 2022.” He also shared the additional information sent by Facebook in-app notifications informing people about the discontinuation of location-based features.

The privacy watchdog has welcomed the news as location-based tracking was one of their biggest concerns. Dhanaraj Thakur, research director at the Center for Democracy and Technology, said: “Reducing the collection of this kind of data on these apps is great. The data broker ecosystem, in general, is so opaque, and there are so many actors involved.”

France fines Google and Facebook over user tracking

Previously, Google and Facebook were heavily fined by the EU over users’ data tracking issues. In January, France’s data privacy watchdog fined Google and Facebook a combined €210m for hampering users’ ability to stop the companies from tracking their online activity. The watchdog claimed that the Facebook, YouTube, and google websites did not allow the easy refusal of cookies instead it requires several clicks to refuse all cookies, as opposed to a single one to accept them.

Read more: France Fines Google and Whatsapp over Cookies

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