Comments
Location Tracking: 6 Social App Settings To Check
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
Laurianne
50%
50%
Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
8/26/2014 | 11:47:58 AM
Facebook
Facebook Messenger opt-out location tracking for chat: Bad call. One more reason I won't choose to download the new Messenger app.
Kristin Burnham
50%
50%
Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
8/26/2014 | 12:08:03 PM
Re: Facebook
If you have location services turned on, your Facebook app will attach a city/state to your update, too, unless you delete it before you post something. The same is true when you use Facebook from a desktop. Facebook won't map your exact location in either of these instances, but it's still something to be wary of.
SachinEE
50%
50%
SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
8/26/2014 | 2:53:18 PM
Re: Facebook
The facebook app seems to make enough location data even with preferences set to minimum. It displays the location of the user correct to 5 kilometres in chatboxes. 
SachinEE
50%
50%
SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
8/26/2014 | 2:58:30 PM
Facebook the invader
Of all the social networking sites, I think facebook is the most agressive and invasive. Not only does it collect data (by default settings) from users, it also makes apps take advantage of such data to give us statistics about something. Facebook apps are the most disturbing. While in the name of being fun (e.g. some apps display the number of beers you can drink before collapsing) these apps collect data and only God knows what it does with them.
Kristin Burnham
50%
50%
Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
8/26/2014 | 4:41:03 PM
Re: Facebook the invader
I wasn't as surprised by Facebook as I was by Foursquare/Swarm. The Foursquare/Swarm location tracking is a sneaky change since it never opted you in automatically before the app redesigns. 
PedroGonzales
50%
50%
PedroGonzales,
User Rank: Ninja
8/26/2014 | 8:00:42 PM
Re: Facebook the invader
I agree that Facebook is the most invader of all.  I guess that using all these social media apps comes at a huge price, ones privacy.  The price is giving up your privacy to not just the company, but to third parties.  I really think there should be some government regulation which forces social media companies to at least have the default setting of opt out or have a huge message saying to user that their location is being sold to third parties. 
Henrisha
50%
50%
Henrisha,
User Rank: Strategist
8/27/2014 | 2:16:01 PM
Re: Facebook the invader
An article about Facebook's Messenger app recently went viral. It was about the permissions the app requests when you install it. It's a wake up call because Facebook Messenger isn't the only app that requests all of these.
jgherbert
50%
50%
jgherbert,
User Rank: Ninja
8/30/2014 | 11:57:59 PM
Re: Facebook the invader
@Henrisha> "An article about Facebook's Messenger app recently went viral."

 

It did. But it was wildly playing the FUD card, and in my opinion misrepresented what was going on. Of course that won't stop it being shared...
vnewman2
50%
50%
vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
8/26/2014 | 8:36:43 PM
Re: Facebook the invader
I clicked on Facebooks Find Friends option for the heck of it - just to see how up front it was going to be with how it works.  One thing I noticed immediately - once I decided I didn't want to go any further it made it pretty much impossible to get out of it.  I could see where some people would think they would have no other choice but to opt in once they are in there.  Totally sketch.
pcharles09
50%
50%
pcharles09,
User Rank: Ninja
8/27/2014 | 12:15:13 AM
Re: Facebook the invader
@vnewman,

That seems like how FB would make a new feature work. I guess they figure they already have enough of your consent, so they could entend it further without giving you an opt-out.
Henrisha
50%
50%
Henrisha,
User Rank: Strategist
8/27/2014 | 2:14:29 PM
Re: Facebook the invader
Over the years, Facebook has given less and less control to users over their data and what they choose to share with the public. I don't even want to start thinking about what goes on internally.
pcharles09
50%
50%
pcharles09,
User Rank: Ninja
8/31/2014 | 10:26:05 PM
Re: Facebook the invader
@Henrisha,

I would imagine that they don't abuse the information. But having it all at your disposal is a scary thing. It's like they know what you're thinking/doing most of the time without even knowing you.
Henrisha
50%
50%
Henrisha,
User Rank: Strategist
8/27/2014 | 2:15:21 PM
Re: Facebook the invader
Once you're in, there's no way out. That seems to be Facebook's motto and a lot of users are (obviously) not liking it. They have gotten increasingly pushy over the past few quarters.
nomii
50%
50%
nomii,
User Rank: Ninja
8/30/2014 | 1:18:11 AM
Re: Facebook the invader
@Henrisha I agree with you. I think that once you are getting in there are so much that forces you to stick to FB. But I am one lucky one that is forced out of this FB Charisma by my company. They are not allowing the social media to be used in the official timings. I am very much relieved as now I think I have some time for myself and my family.
nomii
50%
50%
nomii,
User Rank: Ninja
8/27/2014 | 11:49:00 AM
Re: Facebook the invader
@SachinEE i agree with you on thsia nd feels that its basically a violation of one privacy. I belive that most of us give permission to these sites ourselves without our knowledge before joining. I remember that few years back I used to just click accept before going through the terms and condidtion laid out by any site for joining. Most of these sites are keeping their bases covered to avaoid any legal action.
nomii
50%
50%
nomii,
User Rank: Ninja
8/27/2014 | 11:52:48 AM
Re: Facebook the invader
@SachinEE I agree with you that we need to find it how and where our info is being shared. You must have heard the conspiracy of NASA and PRISM. I believe this might be one aspect from where these intelligence gathering is being done to trace the required target. But in the bargain demolishing all ethicality and decency and abiding laws of privacy violation.
Kristin Burnham
50%
50%
Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
9/10/2014 | 2:31:27 PM
Re: Facebook the invader
 I belive that most of us give permission to these sites ourselves without our knowledge before joining.

@nomii, you're probably right, and hopefully people have learned a lesson from that. People can't complain about the information and data Facebook collects if they're not willing to understand it before they press "allow" or "ok."
nomii
50%
50%
nomii,
User Rank: Ninja
9/11/2014 | 9:26:59 AM
Re: Facebook the invader
@Kristin I am of the opinion that we need to take this matter very seriously (privacy theft) and there needs to be some strict measures against the defaulters. I also believe that the bigger firms consider themselves immune of any punishment they might face as there stake holders come for their rescue. The information theft should be considered as crime and dealt accordingly.
Henrisha
50%
50%
Henrisha,
User Rank: Strategist
8/27/2014 | 2:17:02 PM
Re: Facebook the invader
The more people find out about Facebook (or the lack of information or transparency thereof when it comes to users' data), the more they want to quit the social network for their privacy. Unfortunately, it seems like once you're in, you're in and even though you delete your account, they'll already have a record on you.
Technocrati
50%
50%
Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
8/29/2014 | 8:12:16 PM
Re: Facebook the invader

Thank you Kristin for letting us know how to disable location tracking in Google which is really all I use.  Just reading that in this file lies......

 

Gave me chills, thanks for the information.

Technocrati
50%
50%
Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
8/29/2014 | 8:14:54 PM
Re: Facebook the invader

@Henrisha    And apparently they ( FB ) do a poor job in record keeping, I am talking about people who have passed away. 

Unless someone knows your password or makes the effort to contact FB.  Your profile lives on long after you do.

D. Henschen
50%
50%
D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
8/27/2014 | 12:24:48 PM
1 Don't download junk apps. 2. Don't worry if you have nothing to hide
Two thoughts on all this privacy paranoia: 1. You have to figure that free apps have to be making money somehow. I feel better about paying a small fee for an app that provides real value. 2. Even if it's a free app like Facebook, etc., I'm not too worried about anybody finding out "secrets" like I stopped at a gas station or supermarket, visited a museum or went to a park. Unless you have plans to join ISIS, cheat on your spouse, buy contraband, or engage in some other questionable activity, I wouldn't worry about it. What am I missing?
vnewman2
50%
50%
vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
8/27/2014 | 12:56:15 PM
Re: 1 Don't download junk apps. 2. Don't worry if you have nothing to hide
@DHenschen - I totally see where you are coming from - the tricky part comes in when this "innocent" information has been used against you in some way.

To give you an example - we have a key card system at work that logs the staff coming in and out of the parking garage and elevators for "security purposes."

One day I got called into HR asking why my car never left the garage one night and why there was no entry for my card in the morning and two days later.  Basically they were accusing me of not being in the office without saying as much.  This was two weeks later and I couldn't remember the specifics so I had to retrace my footsteps, look at emails, phone calls, etc all to explain that my car starter died so I left my car overnight - hence no exit from the garage recorded.  So I Ubered to work the next morning - hence no swipe into the garage - and I rode the elevator with a coworker from my floor so they swiped their card, hence I didn't swipe mine.  Then I magically got my car to start over lunch so I drove it to the shop to get fixed.  I picked it up over lunch two days later hence the lack of "garage entry" that morning as well.

Honestly, it was such nonsense and left such a bad taste in my mouth that now I park in a pay garage down the block and I ride the elevator to our main floor (which doesn't require a "swipe" because reception is there) and walk up the steps to office.  I'm not going to spend my time having to justify every move I make.  It's not worth the headache for me.  And I think this illustrates how "tracking" gets out of hand on a small scale - you just never know how someone is going to "spin" information like that and you have to defend yourself like a criminal.
D. Henschen
50%
50%
D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
8/27/2014 | 1:05:13 PM
Re: 1 Don't download junk apps. 2. Don't worry if you have nothing to hide
Sounds like you need a new employer or your employer needs to tell the tin-badge security people to calm down and worry about real problems.
vnewman2
50%
50%
vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
8/27/2014 | 1:59:02 PM
Re: 1 Don't download junk apps. 2. Don't worry if you have nothing to hide
I don't disagree but do you see how even though it was a perfectly innocent situation, someone found a way to make it seem otherwise - things like this could easily be taken to an extreme by someone with malintent.
nomii
50%
50%
nomii,
User Rank: Ninja
8/30/2014 | 1:12:25 AM
Re: 1 Don't download junk apps. 2. Don't worry if you have nothing to hide
@Vnewman2 very interesting to hear your awful ordeal. I just want to highlight that you are not alone who is getting disturbed.

In an incident, summarizing, that I checked into one of the premier the hotel, completed the formalities at reception desk,they handed over tag keys for my suite to me. As I was on one night stay so not much of luggage. I went to my rom, stayed there, did my official commitment and came back. All went normal as ever. The real hussel started when about 15 days or so down the line I received a call from them to report to the hotel for some urgent work which I did. Once reaching back they started dealing with me like a criminal. The ordeal continued for 2-3 hours till I got hold of my lawyer.

Cutting the story, actually the day I checked in I inserted my tag key but due any reason the insertion was not recorded in the system. There was some criminal activity reported on that day in the hotel and the security personnal were looking for clues and I bacema their major forcus as I checked into the hotel but I never went into the room.

Rest whats happened is a long story but at last I was able to prove my innocense and started living a criminal tag free live again which at one time during the investigation I actually started feeling that I am actually a criminal.
vnewman2
50%
50%
vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
8/31/2014 | 2:55:28 AM
Re: 1 Don't download junk apps. 2. Don't worry if you have nothing to hide
@nomii. Wow. Just wow! I had no idea where this was going to go when I read the beginning of your story but holy cow what an ordeal for you to go through all because of a key card. I'm totally blown away but can see how easily it got out of hand based on my own recent experience.
jgherbert
50%
50%
jgherbert,
User Rank: Ninja
8/31/2014 | 12:10:05 AM
Re: 1 Don't download junk apps. 2. Don't worry if you have nothing to hide
@vnewman2> Wow. Your employers seem, uh, a little overactive on their log tracking and user analysis. So if you swipe into the elevator on the way up to the office but take the other elevator down on the way home, will you be accused of not leaving the office, working too many hours, and be forced to accept overtime? That kind of scrutiny is why people fear data collection. The usual argument of "if you have nothing to hide, why care?" gets blown away by your example.
vnewman2
50%
50%
vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
8/31/2014 | 3:04:22 AM
Re: 1 Don't download junk apps. 2. Don't worry if you have nothing to hide
@jgherbert - it's crazy isn't it? Definitely a disheartening experience. The messed up thing is that some floors you need to swipe and others you don't including the ground floor. So in that sense they are only getting pieces of a puzzle yet trying to create a whole picture at the same time.
jgherbert
50%
50%
jgherbert,
User Rank: Ninja
8/31/2014 | 11:21:42 AM
Re: 1 Don't download junk apps. 2. Don't worry if you have nothing to hide
@vnewman2> Insane.

 

I have been asked to create reports in the past saying how many tickets each person on a team has closed in a given week - and I am always a little uncomfortable about doing do, because such reports are meaningless on their own. Some "tickets" represent 6 months of work (a project) so aren't going to be closed regularly. Others are one-line of code to resolve. The rest lie somewhere in between, so how do you compare somebody who closed 20 tickets to somebody who closed just 3 in the same time period? Is one of them lazy? Was one of them on vacation for 3 days that week (another piece of information not revealed by that statistic). My concern is not with the numbers themselves but with how somebody else might interpret them and the inferences and conclusions they might draw because of the lack of context that goes with them.

Sadly it sounds like you're hitting the exact same problem - flawed analysis and conclusions from incomplete data. Somebody, somewhere. should be ashamed.
BillB031
50%
50%
BillB031,
User Rank: Strategist
8/28/2014 | 9:59:00 AM
Re: 1 Don't download junk apps. 2. Don't worry if you have nothing to hide
I certainly have nothing to hide, but why would I want some stranger or some organization knowing if I visited a gas station, grocery store, museum or a park?  Even though it might be their "business",  it's none of their business.... What am I missing?
David F. Carr
50%
50%
David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
8/27/2014 | 6:22:31 PM
How much of this is dependent on GPS?
I routinely disable the GPS on my phone to stretch battery life, meaning the only time I have GPS on is when I'm trying to get directions somewhere. But I know there are other geolocation techniques based on cell towers etc. (foggy on the details, I admit).

Just wondering how much I'm being tracked with GPS off. I'm actually less freaked out by such things than many other folks, but I'd still like to know.
BillB031
50%
50%
BillB031,
User Rank: Strategist
8/28/2014 | 9:45:35 AM
Re: How much of this is dependent on GPS?
Same with me David.  My GPS is off 99% of the time.  Apps that require it on, don't make it installed on my phone.  Google also asks if you would like cell towers and wifi to more acurately define your locaction.  The answer is always no.
nomii
50%
50%
nomii,
User Rank: Ninja
8/30/2014 | 1:24:08 AM
Re: How much of this is dependent on GPS?
@David one of my friend works at security department and told me that their is a possibilty that you can be tracked through your mobiles even you are not making calls, or puting you GPS on, you can also be tracked with your sims after they are put in the phones before they are actually used. So I believe that GPS on or off does not matter any more. Its being given for our comfort but security departments are already comfortable with tracking system in place which we cannot even think off.
jgherbert
50%
50%
jgherbert,
User Rank: Ninja
8/30/2014 | 11:59:33 PM
Re: How much of this is dependent on GPS?
@nomii> "you can be tracked through your mobiles even you are not making calls, or puting you GPS on, you can also be tracked with your sims after they are put in the phones before they are actually used"

 

If you turn the phone on with a SIM in it and it tries to connect to a cell tower, it's logged. Thus yes, you can be tracked (up to a point) with triangulation techniques.
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
8/30/2014 | 10:22:28 PM
Phew!
Great piece, Kristin.  I was very relieved to log in to the link you provided and see a clear map.  But then, I'm the sort of guy that goes through settings immediately and is like "Disable, Disable, Disable, Disable, Disable..."  So I'd have been genuinely surprised to see much of any data.
asksqn
50%
50%
asksqn,
User Rank: Ninja
8/30/2014 | 10:27:54 PM
Dumb as a box of rocks
LOL the NSA doesn't have to surreptitiously sniff digital communications - all it has to do is use an internet connection to check up on ignorant/attention whoring Americans eager to give away every detail about themselves up to and including their every move once they set foot beyond their own front doors.


Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest, Dec. 9, 2014
Apps will make or break the tablet as a work device, but don't shortchange critical factors related to hardware, security, peripherals, and integration.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.