The social network giant plans the year’s most extensive bulk data deletion, including wiping out users’ location histories.
Last year, Facebook decided to shut down its infamous facial recognition system and delete billions of records it collected over the years. Now, the social media giant will stop offering some of its location tracking features by the end of May 2022.
It is worth noting that the features that will be deleted include Time Alerts, Weather Alerts, Nearby Friends, Podcasts, Background Location, and Location History.
Apparently, these services are being terminated due to ‘low usage’, and users of these services will receive a notification about their imminent shutdown.
Data to be Wiped Out before 31 May
These features will no longer be available from 31 May 2022, and the platform will also stop collecting data for these functions, The Verge has confirmed. The company claims that data associated with all these location tracking tools will be wiped out from its servers.
However, users can still access, delete, or download location data the social network saved prior to 1st August. For accessing the data, users should go to Settings>Privacy tab. All the data collected before this date for these soon-to-be-defunct features would be erased automatically.
According to an email from Facebook owner Meta, the social network has been using poor location-based functions. Hence, they decided to stop offering such functions. The company notified users through in-app prompts and emails and didn’t make public announcements.
The notification received by Facebook users revealed that the social network would shut down features relying on background location tracking, including Nearby Friends, Podcasts, and Weather Alerts.
It is worth noting that Facebook Podcasts were launched just a year before. Yet, Facebook decided to discontinue them and develop additional services. The company will stop offering short-form audio products Soundbites and central audio hub.
This is welcome news for Facebook users. However, it doesn’t mean that Facebook will stop collecting users’ location data because, as per the company’s policy, it will collect the information for ‘other experiences,’ like location check-ins.