Facebook is suspending numerous features that monitored and tracked your real-time location, including Nearby Friends, weather alerts, location history, and background location.
Facebook says it will stop gathering data linked with these features on May 31st and will destroy all saved data on August 1st, according to a notification given to those who have previously used the service. The Facebook parent company Meta confirmed this news.
However, this does not imply that Facebook will stop collecting location data entirely. According to Facebook’s statement to users, it will “continue collecting location information for other experiences” in order to offer relevant advertising and location check-ins in accordance with its data policy.
Within the Settings and Privacy menu, you can see, download, or erase any location data the platform has saved. Meanwhile, on August 1st, Facebook will immediately delete all data relating to its discontinued services.
However, we won’t miss anything significant if these functions are turned off.
Nearby Friends, introduced by Facebook in 2014, enables users to share your real-time location with your friends — and vice versa — with the goal of scheduling in-person meet ups with individuals in your close surroundings. Its popularity faded over time as rival applications such as Snapchat’s Snap Map and Apple’s Find My Friends gained traction.
Given Facebook’s track record when it comes to protecting users’ data, the removal of these location-based services is actually a relief. Following a report that revealed Facebook recorded users’ movements if they made a “serious” threat, Facebook began allowing Android users to turn off background location tracking in 2019. Meanwhile, Apple currently allows users to disable location monitoring for certain apps.
Accessing your Location History
You can access and download your information before August 1, 2022 if you want to view or erase your existing Location History. If you do nothing after this date, your existing Location History data will be automatically deleted.