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Instagram Testing To Share Location History With Facebook

by Abeerah Hashim
Instagram data abuses

Facebook’s user tracking behavior has now become so common that any news informing of some glitch or deliberate move to track its users no longer surprises us. However, what if you hear about similar tracking habits in other apps such as Instagram? Well, that time is not far off since Instagram will now be collecting your history and barraging you with ads. At present, Instagram is testing to share location history of users with Facebook. (It seems the service is on the verge of becoming a typical Facebook product.)

Instagram Plans To Share Location History With Facebook

Instagram is allegedly planning to adopt the user tracking attitude of Facebook. Reportedly, the service is testing a prototype to share location history with Facebook.

A tipster, Jane Manchun Wong, discovered this test feature and revealed her findings in a tweet.

Later, TechCrunch reported about the feature in detail describing how it will allegedly work.

According to the report, Instagram is testing the location history feature that would share the users’ exact GPS coordinates with Facebook. While things appear harmless for now, here’s the glitch. Facebook’s location history, as explained by Facebook itself, helps the firm to target you with ads. Moreover, Instagram would continue to collect your GPS coordinates even after leaving the app.

FB Spokesperson Also Hints Towards The New Instagram Prototype

Facebook’s spokesperson, while speaking to TechCrunch, seemingly confirmed the testing of the new feature. Although, he did not state it explicitly,

“To confirm, we haven’t introduced updates to our location settings. As you know, we often work on ideas that may evolve over time or ultimately not be tested or released. Instagram does not currently store Location History. We will keep people updated with any changes to our location settings in the future.”

It means, for now, Instagram users are safe from this location tracking, but, their continued safety, in the long run, seems blurry.

Presently, Facebook allows individual users to turn off the location history feature. Nonetheless, it doesn’t have a significant impact as Facebook still collects what it looks for. As it explains itself regarding the feature,

“When Location History is turned off, Facebook will stop adding new information to your Location History which you can view in your Location Settings. Facebook may still receive your most recent precise location so that you can, for example, post content that’s tagged with your location.”

Although, this report may upset a lot of Facebook users who remain concerned about their privacy, Facebook seems more focused on the facilitation of marketers instead of its users. A few days ago, we came to know how Facebook targets users’ 2FA contact numbers for ad targeting. And now, Facebook seemingly plans to exploit Instagram for this purpose. Let’s see if it holds this feature to the prototype, or launches it in a future version of Instagram.

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