Maybe 2019 has not been such a terrible year for Facebook as it was 2018, and it was that it had everything from Cambridge Analytica to recognizing responsibilities in the conflict in Myanmar.
However, it will be closed in a very bad way, as the company of Mark Zuckerberg has recognized in a document sent to two senators that they can know the location of their users even if they do not have active geolocation on their smartphone or even if they have not agreed to give permission to request access to the location.
This is how Facebook knows our location with geolocation disabled
Josh Hawley (Republican) and Chris Coons (Democrat) are the two senators who asked Facebook last month about their location policies regarding user decisions, which they said they were not respecting. Facebook responded to senators last 12th with the letter we see in the tweet embedded above.
The company has clearly admitted in the letter the facts of which they were accused. In the words of Rob Sherman, VP and Deputy Director General of Privacy of Facebook :
“When location services are turned off, Facebook can know the geolocation of people using information it shares through its Facebook activities or IP addresses and other network connections they use.”
Thus, the key is the IP addresses again , which although they may not be as precise as geolocation by GPS and Wi-Fi networks, it gives Facebook enough information to know more or less where we are at any moment.
The location that users manually enter into the social network when uploading images and geolocation metadata that include the photos of all modern smartphones are also key for this tracking , provided that we have authorized camera applications to collect such information.
Answering the question of why they use this information, from Facebook they recognize that for multiple actions. Offering advertising is the biggest reason , because it is what Facebook lives mostly, and advertising, they say, must be offered localized.
“By necessity, virtually all ads on Facebook are targeted based on location, although most of the ads are aimed at people with a particular city or a larger region.”
In other ways, Facebook says that thanks to the location they can also offer more security to the accounts , for services such as “Someone has accessed your account from a strange location. Were you?”.