Facebook can determine where users are even if they opt out of having their whereabouts tracked, the company revealed in a letter sent to US senators.
In the missive, which was widely shared on social media Tuesday, Facebook explained ways it can still figure out where people are after they have selected not to share precise location data with the company.
The social network, which was responding to a request for information by two senators, contended that knowing a user’s whereabouts has benefits ranging from showing ads for nearby shops to fighting hackers and battling misinformation.
“There is no opting out. No control over your personal information,” Republican Senator Josh Hawley said in a tweet.
“That’s Big Tech. And that’s why Congress needs to take action.”
Facebook said that clues for figuring out a user’s location include being tagged in a photo at a specific place or a check-in at a location such as at a restaurant during a dinner with friends.
People may share an address for purchases at a shopping section at Facebook, or simply include it in their profile information.
Along with location information shared in posts by users, devices connecting to the internet are given IP addresses and a user’s whereabouts can then be noted.
Those addresses include locations, albeit a bit imprecise when it comes to mobile devices linking through telecom services that might only note a town or city.
Facebook said knowing a user’s general location helps it and other internet firms protect accounts by detecting when suspicious login behavior occurs, such as by someone in South America when a user lives in Europe.
IP addresses also help companies such as Facebook battle misinformation by showing the general origin of potentially nefarious activity, such as a stream of politically oriented posts which might be aimed at a particular country.
Facebook said recently that it is ready for a data privacy law that is to go into effect in its home state of California at the start of next year.
The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) will give internet users the right to see what data big tech companies collect and with whom it is shared.
Denver cops busted for doing drive-by shootings of anti-police brutality protesters
In a video posted to Twitter, a young Denver man protesting the killing of George Floyd at the hands of four former Minnesota police officers, found himself on the receiving end of an attack by police himself as he filmed them riding on the side of a truck -- only to have his phone hit by a fired police projectile while still in his hand.
According to Rachelle D'nae, a staff writer at Slate, her brother went to the Denver protest and was filming the officers when the incident occurred.
"My older brother went to a protest in Denver last night. as the police were leaving, one of them shot him with a pepper pellet that smashed the back of his phone and exploded in his face. they were ~30 feet from each other and it looks like the officer aimed directly at his face," she wrote before adding in a second tweet, "when my brother told me he was going I prepared for the worst. I made sure he had my number memorized so I could bail him out if I needed to and I sat up until he made it home, trying not to cry as he told me he had been tear-gassed."
US military brought in to monitor police brutality protests in 7 states: leaked documents
According to an exclusive report from The Nation, based upon Defense Department documents, U.S. military members are being dispatched to seven different states to monitor the activities of Americans who have taken to the streets to protest the death of George Floyd at the hands of four former Minneapolis cops.
The report, by the Nation's Ken Klippenstein, notes that states include, "Minnesota, where a Minneapolis police officer killed George Floyd, the military is tracking uprisings in New York, Ohio, Colorado, Arizona, Tennessee, and Kentucky, according to a Defense Department situation report," with the author pointing out, "Notably, only Minnesota has requested National Guard support."
‘Absolute vacuum in leadership’: Internet shreds ‘coward’ Trump for hiding as 75 cities protest
President Donald Trump is under fire Sunday after the White House announced he will not be seen today despite five days and nights of protests in more than 75 cities across the country and governors in at least ten states activating the National Guard.
Possibly more than at any time during his three-and-a-half year old administration Trump is taking tremendous criticism for how he has managed the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and for his handling of the protests against the killing by police of George Floyd.