Facebook will no longer collect data from some of its geolocation services. Therefore, features that previously tracked your real-time location, including Nearby Friends and Weather Alerts, will soon be discontinued (after May 31, 2022).
In a statement to The Verge, a representative of Meta – Facebook’s parent company – confirmed the “discontinuation of some location-based services”. Nearby friends and weather alerts are the first to appear, and location history and background location are expected to follow in the near future.
Originally, the information related to the decision to end the collection of geolocation data was disclosed to users using the above services through a notice. The official justification for the discontinuation is “low usage” on the part of the users.
Not only will it stop collecting data, but Facebook will delete all stored data on August 1, 2022. Users can download and view the data collected by the platform before that shutdown point from the Settings and Privacy menu.
It should be noted that this does not mean that Facebook will stop collecting geolocation data altogether. In accordance with the company’s data policy, this information will be collected and processed, albeit for different “experiences”.
Of course, this raises some questions, but no one expected Facebook to voluntarily stop collecting so much valuable user data. Meta has come under fire in recent years for its handling of sensitive user information.
This has led companies like Apple and governments to take steps to protect user data, much to Meta’s distaste. iOS, for example, allows users to both warp their geolocation and completely remember it from Facebook.
Ultimately, Facebook will be Facebook and always treat user data as an invaluable asset. Whether they still get away with it remains to be seen.