It might sound weird in the first instance! But it has been established that Facebook tracks your location and serves targetted ads even if you turn off location services. It was brought to light by Alexandra Cossova, an assistant professor of computer science at USC. Facebook uses IP address, check-ins and city in the profile to serve targetted ads. She explained it in detail in a Medium post that was shared today. Cossova noticed that Facebook continued to serve her location-based ads even after disabling location history, location services on Facebook and also after the removal of the city from her profile name.
As for that matter, she didn’t even upload photos or check-in nor does she allow Whatsapp, Instagram and Facebook to access her location. She then found out that IP address has been the source of her location information. The IP address reveals a lot of info as anyone can imagine. It offers the advertisers details like the rough location where they live in, Zip code, city, age, gender and their likes. It allows the firms to serve targetted ads on the users feed.
Facebook does not keep it a secret and in fact, explains the details on the Facebook ad’s page. Apart from the IP address, it collects location-based information via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth data. But many people are aware of the situation and are of the opinion that they are not being tracked after turning off the location-based services. Facebook is clearly of the situation and it agrees to the fact that completely turning off location tracking is merely impossible.
Facebook spokesperson detailed this in statements offered to Gizmodo. According to him, the company uses the IP address to track the user’ s location, check-ins, and the current city on their profile to offer them better services. It helps them to offer precise data with regard to nearby events and ads for business which are local to them. Take the case of Alexandra Cossova; when she visited the Glacier national park, she happened to receive an advertisement regarding the things to do in Montana.
So now the question arises! How can we stop Facebook from completely tracking location?
-You could stop using the Facebook app on your phone.
-Use a VPN(Virtual Private Network) when you log into your Facebook account.
-The best and the last thing to do is to quit Facebook altogether.