How to turn off Facebook “Places”

a montage of screencaps of the FB privacy option buttons for the Places feature, with superimposed text "Hell No!"If anyone is wondering why pretty much the only thing I ever mention on Facebook has to do with sharing comedy links (with occasional politics links once in a while)? It’s because if it wasn’t for my comedy-blogging need to keep in touch with what comedians are up to, I’d have left the damn site long ago.

The new “Places” feature is yet another form of geotagging that lets everybody in the world know where you are, and which you can limit to “Friends only” or “Only Me” by going to the Privacy settings, but which you cannot turn off entirely.

Lifehacker shows you how to turn off the “Places” “feature” so that you can at least stop your location being inadvertently shared to strangers by your FB friends:

Keep in mind that any friend could potentially check you in anywhere. You don’t actually have to be there. If you don’t want anyone playing a practical joke and checking you in to a strip club, for example, this is a good thing to turn off.

You will need to edit your own Privacy Settings AND your Application Settings to ensure that your location information can’t be inadvertently shared with FB apps your friends are using.

Obviously, the other thing to double-check is whether your smartphone, should you have one, is broadcasting your location to everybody in your contacts and shared apps lists for all sorts of other networks, not just FB. I don’t find having the locator enabled is much of a help even when I’m looking at a map app, so I certainly can’t see the point of it otherwise.

Crossposted to my webwrangling blog

Categories: ethics & philosophy, technology

Tags: ,

2 replies

  1. Done. Thanks for passing this on. I hadn’t even noticed that Facebook had set this places thingie up, let alone realised that it had rather more privacy issues than usual for FB.

  2. This is the thing I don’t like about Facebook … the way new features are introduced under our radar.
    Justin Smith’s comment to CNN in the link is a little bit irksome: “It seems every time Facebook adds a new feature, it takes people some time to accept it and feel comfortable with it.”
    Like FB knows best and it’s our job to embrace the changes. GRRR.

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