How to stop Facebook from sharing your location

Facebook is at it again, releasing yet another feature that I never had the opportunity to politely opt out of: location sharing.

Screenshot by Sharon Vaknin/CNET

Facebook is at it again, releasing yet another feature that I never had the opportunity to politely opt out of: location sharing.

When Facebook decided to withdraw efforts from its short-lived check-in service, Places, it quickly implemented a more passive location-sharing feature that doesn't even have a name. It's just there. And it's creepy.

Now, every time you compose a post on a mobile device or desktop computer, you'll see a light-gray location description in the lower left of the status box.

Facebook sneakily grabs your location via GPS or Wi-Fi router, and attaches it to your post, so your friends can enjoy a more in-depth stalking experience.

Do you remember opting in to that? Me neither.

In fact, if you dig through your privacy and account settings, the option to turn off location-sharing isn't available. However, it's pretty easy to turn it off. Here's how:

  • Since the location is shown in light gray, it's very easy to miss. Always check the lower left of the status box to see if a location is attached.

  • If you're on the Web, simply hover the cursor over the location and click the "X." Your location will no longer be attached, even to future statuses. If you later change your mind, just click the location marker to manually enter your location, but beware: it will be attached again for all future updates (unless you turn it off again).
    Screenshot by Sharon Vaknin/CNET

  • In the Facebook mobile app, tap the location to remove it. On the iPhone, you can turn off location services for Facebook entirely by going to Settings > Location Services, and turning it off for Facebook.
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