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Data & Privacy Facebook

Facebook preparing to launch location-tracking app


By Jennifer Faull, Deputy Editor

February 5, 2013 | 1 min read

Facebook has reportedly developed an app, due to be released mid-March, that can track the location of users as part of its drive to benefit from the growing use of social media on mobile computers.

Facebook insiders have said that the app, which runs even when the programme or phone is not in use, was designed to allow users to find friends nearby.

For Facebook, such an app would allow it to sell targeted ads based on a user’s daily whereabouts and habits.

As expected, this has raised concerns among consumers and privacy advocates over the company’s use of personal information.

Thus far Facebook has not commented on the reported plans, which were revealed in a report by Bloomberg citing two unnamed Facebook sources.

According to other sources, the team developing Facebook’s location software is being led by Peter Deng, a product director who joined from Google in 2007, with tech engineers from Glancee, a location-tracking startup Facebook acquired in May, and Gowalla, a location-based social network.

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