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Facebook lets Android users block location tracking when not on the app

The social network is rolling out a new "background location" control for Android phones.

Facebook : Illustration
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If you're an Android user, Facebook could be tracking your location even when you're not using the app. But now there's a way to stop the company from doing so.

The world's largest social network, under pressure to address privacy concerns, said it was releasing a new tool that lets Android users control whether the company tracks their location when they're not using the Facebook app. That feature is already available for users who access the Facebook app on an iPhone

Before, Android users had only one setting that allowed Facebook to track their location, or not. Unless they turned the tracking off, the social network was able to access their whereabouts.


Facebook introduced a new background location setting on Wednesday.


Now Facebook is introducing another option: Users can let Facebook track location only when they're using the app. 

The social network uses location data to show people nearby friends and events, but it also uses the info to feed targeted ads. 

Facebook has been criticized before for the data it collects from Android phones. In May, a Facebook user sued the social network for allegedly collecting information on calls and text messages on Android phones. 

The social network says it's alerting users who use the app on Android phones about the new feature, through Facebook. 

The company says that with the update, it's not collecting any new information or changing the choices a user previously made.

You can find out if Facebook is tracking your location by going to the social network's settings. There's a section for privacy that includes an option to manage your location setting