Technology Senators call out Facebook over location tracking policies
Apple launches new privacy website, but policies unchanged
Apple is expanding its website on privacy with more explanations about its commitments, though its policies and practices aren't changing. The new site Wednesday is part of Apple's ongoing push to distinguish itself from data-hungry, advertising-fueled rivals such as Google and Facebook. The new site Wednesday is part of Apple's ongoing push to distinguish itself from data-hungry, advertising-fueled rivals such as Google and Facebook.
Two US senators aren't satisfied with Facebook's in its app. The legislators say the company is undermining users' privacy choices.
Sen. Christopher Coons, a Democrat from Delaware, and Sen. Josh Hawley, a Republican from Missouri, sent aon Monday, saying that if users want to restrict their location information to Facebook, then the company should respect their decision.
"Location data is among the most sensitive personal information that a user can share with a company," the two senators wrote in the letter. "We appreciate Facebook's attempt to proactively inform users about their privacy options. However, we are concerned that Facebook may not in fact be offering users the level of control that the company suggests these settings provide."
‘Harry Potter: Wizards Unite’ gathered location data while users slept
It's no secret that games like Harry Potter: Wizards Unite and Pokémon Go track their users' locations. But it can be alarming to see just how much data companies like Niantic have. As part of an extensive report on how tech companies are mapping the world, Kotaku revealed that Niantic's Wizards Unite, in particular, gathered a surprising amount of data. Kotaku looked at 25,000 location records shared with it by 10 players of Niantic games. It found that Niantic kept about three location records per minute of Wizards Unite gameplay. That was nearly twice as many records as it kept for Pokémon Go.
In their letter, the senators ask, among other things, whether Facebook collects any information about a user's location if the user has turned off or limited location services, whether it shares information with third parties and whether that location information is monetized or used for advertising. They requested a response from the social media company by Dec. 12.
Paul McDonald, a Facebook engineering director, wrote a blog post on Sept. 9 that outlinedand how users can control the location settings in iOS 13 and Android 10.
Facebook didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
What to do when an iPhone app is using your location in the background .
The new version of iOS, Apple's mobile operating system, offers more awareness of what apps are doing when you're not using them.After upgrading to iOS 13, you may start to receive notifications that say things like, “Facebook has used your location 34 times in the background in the past 3 days.” The prompts come with a little map that seems to indicate where you’ve been over that time, and ask if you “want to continue to allow background location use.
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