Use Nearby Friends? If you don't want Facebook for iPhone tracking your every move, you're going to want to change your settings.
I like using Facebook to share what I want, when I want, and it's fair game. But many of us don't fancy a social network tracking our every move, even privately. If you use Facebook's Nearby Friends feature, however, you may be at risk of just that. If you'd prefer not to have a personal map of every place you've been accessible via your Facebook account, here's how to change your settings and put the social network back in its place.
Whenever I update Facebook, I do a quick sweep through the account section of the Facebook for iPhone app. I was doing this yesterday, and came across a setting under Location that I hadn't remembered seeing. The setting has been there since April 2014's introduction of the Nearby Friends feature, but it was news to me — probably because I never enabled it.
Regardless, this option gives Facebook the ability to monitor and record your location on a constant basis, and it's turned on by default after you enable Nearby Friends. Creeped out yet? I certainly was.
Thankfully, Facebook has not tracked anything about my location because I turned off location services entirely for the Facebook app. (You can do this from the Settings app, under Privacy > Location Services.) The same couldn't be said for many of my friends and family members: It had tracked and recorded their every move without their knowledge for several months, producing highly-detailed maps for each day. Even though these maps are only viewable when you're logged in as yourself on Facebook, it presents scary scenarios for those who might have a significant other or friend's login credentials.
If you want to make sure that Facebook never uses your location for new features, completely disabling location services for the app is the way to go. If you aren't sure how to do it, you can find directions below, as well as some tips on how I keep the Facebook app permanently in check:
If you don't want to completely disable location services for Facebook, however, you don't have to. (You may still want to be able to use the check-in feature, for example.) Instead, follow these steps just to disable background recording:
How to stop Facebook for iPhone from constantly tracking your location
- Launch the Facebook app on your iPhone.
- Tap on More in the bottom navigation.
- Tap on Account Settings.
- Tap on Location.
- Turn Off the option for Location History.