Facebook suggests new friends by tracking your location, here is how you can stop this creepy thing
Next time you see a suggestion from Facebook to make a local bully your friend, you should know that Facebook has been snooping on you using the location. Facebook suggests new friends who may be your enemies or anti-socials from your area and this may sound very creepy to a privacy loving citizen.
Facebook in the recent past has been in the news for invasion of privacy of its users. According to a report from Fusion, Facebook shows you “people based on mutual friends, work and education information, networks you’re part of, contacts you’ve imported and many other factors.”
If you have got location services enabled for Facebook on your phone, the company can use that data to generate “People You May Know” suggestions, which is partly based on where you are and where you have been. In other words, Facebook tracks the location of your smartphone to suggest “People You May Know” as friends.
“People You May Know are people on Facebook that you might know,” a Facebook spokesperson said. “We show you people based on mutual friends, work and education information, networks you’re part of, contacts you’ve imported and many other factors.” The Facebook spokesperson further added, “Location information by itself doesn’t indicate that two people might be friends. That’s why location is only one of the factors we use to suggest people you may know.”
So, for instance, if you and others have the Facebook app installed, and you all hang out at the same places – such as someone who went to college with you, or someone that shops at the same target, or as a nearby cafe or your apartment block – Facebook will gather your locations, put them together and suggests you friends accordingly.
The only way to avoid this is to check the privacy settings on your smartphone. Most of us have Facebook set to “always,” but in reality it should be set to “never” if we don’t want them to do some scary stuff. However, note that your smartphone won’t be able to suggest nearby events or notify you when a friend is nearby if you change it to “never.”