The big picture: Facebook has published a detailed look at how its app funnels and uses background location data from your smartphone. This comes just before Apple is set to release the latest version of its mobile OS, which is going to warn users about apps that use their location data in the background and ask for permission every time. Interestingly enough, the social giant was transparent about alternative ways in which it will still collect that information, "using things like check-ins, events and information about your internet connection."
Apple's iOS 13 release is just around the corner with a big focus on privacy, which was one of the highlights of WWDC 2019 earlier this year. Naturally, this will have an impact on apps and services that need to have access to your personal information.
That's why Facebook recently wrote a blog post explaining how the changes Apple introduced in its latest mobile OS are going to disrupt the continuous access to your precise location it has had until now. For those of you who don't know, iOS 13 will display a pop-up notification whenever a third-party app wants to use your location in the background. Furthermore, it will offer more insight with a map where you can see the location history that was accessible to a certain app.
Users can choose to give one-time access to an app or allow it to continuously feed in their location data as needed.
Facebook seems particularly worried that users will be made more keenly aware of the app's reliance on that information, so it emphasized its commitment to privacy by promising that users are in complete control over when and how their location data is used by simply managing the Location Services setting inside the app.
It's worth noting the social giant has a workaround for those restrictions that will still allow it to have a general idea of your location through things like events, check-ins, and by looking at your internet connection. Facebook still believes its platform can only shine if users give it access to their location, but this looks more like an attempt to show some transparency before the public learns about how much it's being tracked even when not directly using the app.