Facebook's new location controls on Android will let users disable background collection

The social network released new location controls for Android that lets users limit background data collection when the Facebook app isn't in use.

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Facebook on Wednesday released new location controls for Android that lets users limit location data collection. The feature is a background control setting that will let Android users choose whether they want Facebook collecting their location information when they're not using the app. 

Up until now, background collection was bundled into the broader location history setting. People using the Facebook app on Android could either totally share their location data or disable info sharing entirely. Now, Android users will have more explicit, granular control over background collection and location information sharing. From Facebook's blog post:

If you enabled this [Location History] setting, two things happened: you would share your location when you weren't using the app and you would allow Facebook to store a history of your precise locations. With this update, you'll have a dedicated way to choose whether or not to share your location when you aren't using the app.

For people who previously chose to turn their Location History setting "on," the new background location setting is "on." For people who had turned Location History "off" – or never turned it on in the first place – the new background location setting is "off."

Facebook is alerting both Android and iOS users about the new and existing locations sharing options. For Android users, Facebook is sending out alerts to anyone that's agreed to share location data in the past. iOS users will be nudged to check on their settings to make sure they're right. 

In another gesture of transparency, Facebook is also updating the Access Your Information tool on user profiles to include the social network's estimate of your primary location down to the city or postal code level. 

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