Android users can now disable Facebook from secretly collecting their location data

Early last year, Facebook's location data practice was found to be violating privacy laws in Germany, among other trespasses. Now, in an apparent move to address that specific privacy concern for the rest of its users elsewhere, the social networking giant is making changes to how Android users control Facebook's location data collection in the background.

Facebook users on Google's mobile operating system can now choose to disable the app from collecting their location data when it's not in use as part of a new update. The social media company admits that prior to this change, it was tracking and storing users' precise location in the background. Facebook's Nearby Friends feature, in particular, has been operating this way. That feature, introduced in 2014, allowed users to broadcast their exact current location to friends within a certain vicinity, though the preciseness of its location tracking was dropped in late 2016.

The update's availability seems to vary by region for now. In countries where this option may have gone live, users can tap the hamburger menu and head over to Settings & Privacy -> Settings -> Location. Then toggle the new Background Location option to make the desired changes.

The option is already available to Facebook users on iOS. It's also important to note that the latest update does not change the options you previously made to your Facebook app settings with regard to location data sharing. So you may want to review your settings now if you don't wish to share your location data with Facebook at all.

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