Instagram could soon be handing your location history over to Facebook. This would aid the social media giant to target you with specific ads and contents across its family of applications. Since the resignation of its original founders Instagram has started prototyping a new type of privacy setting. This would allow the platform to hand your exact GPS coordinates collected by the application over to Facebook. Facebook acquired Instagram back in 2012. The photo sharing platform has since amassed a massive user-base of over 800 million users.
According to TechCrunch, the Location history sharing option was defaulted to On in this new prototype. A Facebook spokesperson who was asked about this has since confirmed that this prototyping has in fact been done. He however added that the company hasn’t considered launching it yet:
“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’ll keep people updated with any changes to our location settings in the future.”
What is Location History?
Facebook’s Location History is located at the Privacy and Security settings and it basically stores the history of the user’s precise locations received via Facebook products such as Messenger and Instagram. As part of its 2011 FTC settlement over privacy violations, Facebook agreed that most privacy sensitive features visible to other users had to be opt-in. But since Location History is not visible to other users, it is exempt from the agreement.
With the feature turned on by default, most users will never dig deep enough into the settings to turn it off. More location history from Instagram basically means easier for Facebook to target specific ads to its users across its range of applications.
Instagram announced on Sep 24 that co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger had resigned from their positions. The two had spent eight years together, building the company from scratch to what it is today. Systrom wrote in a statement that he and Krieger were leaving in order to “explore their curiosity and creativity again”.
“Mike and I are grateful for the last eight years at Instagram and six years with the Facebook team…We’re now ready for our next chapter.”
Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement that he had really enjoyed working with Systrom and Krieger for the past six years and called them “extraordinary product leaders”. The Facebook CEO has been facing a particularly high degree of scrutiny this year over Facebook’s mishandling of user data.
Facebook has installed Adam Mosseri, a close friend to Zuckerberg and the company’s former VP of News Feed, as the new head of Instagram.