Facebook Location Tracking for Ads Can’t Be Switched Off

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You can attempt but you can’t conceal appears to be the mantra of Facebook’s advertising system that uses users’ location to target advertisements. One American researcher just recently discovered that there is virtually no way to stop Facebook from trying to identify your location even if you have switched off Facebook’s access to your location every method possible. The inability to stop Facebook from tracking your location for ads might not appear as egregious as the business’s some other recent privacy incidents but it definitely seals the significantly growing concern that Facebook will always put company interests over user privacy.

Aleksandra Korolova, Assistant Professor of Computer Science at University of South California, described on Medium how she discovered Facebook showing advertisements targeted to her real place despite the fact that she had no place information on her profile and had actually used all readily available area controls to stop the social giant from tracking her.

Korolova keeps in mind that she had the Location History function disabled on Facebook and Location Data Availability for Facebook set for Never on iOS. Additionally, she had no mention of her existing city or any location-tagged photos or content on her Facebook profile. Despite this, Korolova continued to see ads targeted to her home and work places.

” The Location Controls provided by Facebook give an impression of control over the information that informs one’s advertisement experience, not actual control,” composed Korolova.

According to her, when other avenues are unavailable, Facebook will utilize details like the IP address to deduce users’ area and target ads based upon that.

“We do use IP and other info such as check-ins and current city from your profile. We describe this to individuals, including in our Privacy Basics site and on the About Facebook Ads website,” Facebook acknowledged to Gizmodo.

The publication composes that Facebook silently changed an earlier policy as a part of which the company just utilized the recent area shared via the location services to target advertisements. A (now obsolete) Facebook Business page describing the earlier Facebook policy was upgraded after the Gizmodo report to keep in mind that the policy was altered back in April 2017. According to Gizmodo, Facebook feels that the rough approximation of area supplied by IP data is an appropriate use, leaving the privacy-conscious users to the mercy of VPNs.

When the users have not turned off area tracking, Facebook uses all sorts of tracking signals consisting of Wi-Fi connection and GPS data to collect accurate location about its users. This info is then utilized to show almost events, regional ads, news stories, and even power the “Safety Check” function. The company likewise declares to use the place information to keep the Facebook accounts safe by recognizing suspicious login attempts.

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