Tech

Facebook will ban popular features for BILLIONS of users by the end of the month

FACEBOOK on Thursday began alerting users that some features that collect data on users’ whereabouts will be dropped.

The US social media giant says Nearby Friends and Weather Alerts will be shut down by the end of the month.

Facebook bundles some of its location tracking services

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Facebook bundles some of its location tracking servicesPhoto credit: Getty

Both track location data from users’ devices to either provide weather updates or notify Facebook friends when they’re nearby.

Alerts, location history, and background location will also be “removed soon,” Facebook says in the notification.

The warning being rolled out in the Facebook app for Android and iOS doesn’t provide any details as to why the features are being removed.

“After May 31, 2022, Nearby Friends and weather alerts will no longer be available,” Facebook says.

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“Information shared by you used for these experiences, including location history and background location, will no longer be collected after May 31, 2022.”

This applies “even if you have previously activated them,” the social media app adds.

Some of the data, including a map of the places you’ve visited, stored in Location History is available for download until August 1st.

According to Facebook, this data will then be deleted.

The move is a step in the right direction for an app that has been criticized over the years for the way it tracks its users.

However, this does not mean that the Facebook app will stop hoarding users’ location data.

The company says data will continue to be collected “for other experiences.”

Speaking to The Sun, a spokesman for Meta, the company that owns Facebook, confirmed plans to dump some location services.

They said emails and in-app notifications will be sent out to ensure people have enough time to understand the changes.

Facebook was forced to tone down its data sucking after Apple introduced new privacy policies.

After an iPhone update in early 2020, app developers now have to ask your permission to store data about your internet activity.

Apps have been dabbling in data tracking for years, allowing them to store your browsing history and more for targeted advertising.

Now iPhone users are getting pop-up notifications asking if they want certain apps to have access to this data.

According to AdWeek, around two-thirds of iPhone fans have turned off app tracking to protect their privacy.

It threatens the coffers of free apps like Facebook and Instagram, which rely heavily on user data hoarding to generate revenue from ads.

The update also introduced a popup that tells iPhone users if an app has been tracking their location in the background.

You can then choose to block the app from knowing your location – another blow to data-hungry apps.

Mark Zuckerberg's app was forced to tone down its data-hoovering practices

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Mark Zuckerberg’s app was forced to tone down its data-hoovering practicesPhoto credit: Getty
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https://www.the-sun.com/tech/5278181/facebook-ban-beloved-features-billions-users/ Facebook will ban popular features for BILLIONS of users by the end of the month

Chris Barrese

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