Instagram is currently testing a feature that would allow it to share your location data with Facebook, even when you’re not using the app, reports app researcher Jane Manchun Wong (via TechCrunch). The option, which Wong notes is being tested as a setting you have to opt-in to, allows Facebook products to “build and use a history of precise locations” which the company says “helps you explore what’s around you, get more relevant ads and helps improve Facebook.” When activated, the service will report your location “even if you leave the app.”
The discovery of the feature comes just weeks after Instagram’s co-founders resigned from the company, reportedly as a result of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s meddling in the service. Examples of this meddling include removing Instagram’s attribution from posts re-shared to Facebook, and badged notifications inside Instagram that encouraged people to open the Facebook app. With the two men who were deeply involved in the day-to-day running of Instagram now gone, such intrusions are expected to increase.
Instagram is not the only service that Facebook has sought to share data between. Back in 2016 the company announced that it would be sharing user data between WhatsApp and Facebook in order to offer better friend suggestions. The practice was later halted in the European Union thanks to its GDPR legislation, although WhatsApp’s CEO and co-founder later left over data privacy concerns.
Wait – instagram continually monitors your location too?!