Facebook admitted, in a letter sent to United States senators, that it has access to the location of its users even when permission is not granted. The document, obtained from the website The Hill this Tuesday (17), details the practice after the pressure of senators Chistopher Coons and Josh Hawley, who questioned the tracking policies of Mark Zuckerberg's company.
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According to the letter, Facebook is able to identify the location of users through other information shared on the company's services, such as videos, tags or advertisements on the social network's Marketplace. In addition, it is possible to use the device's IP address to determine an inaccurate location.
Facebook admits it accesses the location of unauthorized users Photo: Nicolly Vimercate / TechTudo
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The document was signed by the company's deputy director of privacy, Rob Sherman. According to him, the social network often shows advertisements based on the user's city or region, even if the location service has been turned off.
In this regard, senators have criticized Facebook's statements, suggesting that the company makes money based on personal information to which users have explicitly denied access. Coons said the company's efforts are "insufficient and even deceptive".
. @ Facebook admits it. Turn off location services and theyll STILL track your location to make money (by sending you ads). There is no opting out. No control over your personal information. Thats Big Tech. And thats why Congress needs to take action https://t.co/R1LuLcP1LP
– December 17, 2019
In the letter, Facebook also said that, to ensure the "consistent and responsible" use of the users' location, it created a team dedicated to managing the infrastructure used to process this data. The company says it believes it is important to communicate about the information collected and how users can control it.
According to information from Facebook, the user has full control over providing the location to the application. In addition, although the data is used to make ads more relevant, advertisers do not have access to that information.
The location of users can also be added by the user to a publication or photo, but it is possible to prevent the app from accessing the phone's GPS or set it to only during use.
Facebook has a page that details the use and location options of the social network. According to the document, "when Location Services is disabled for this device, Facebook will not add new information to your location history, even if it has been activated by you".
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