Ever surprised by finding a person whose face you remember but not the name until the “People you may know” feature on Facebook told you about him/her? This is probably because Facebook stalked you and used your phone’s location to suggest new people you could befriend.
The accuracy that this feature shows has surprised as well as disturbed Facebook users for some time now.
“Thanks to tracking the location of users’ smartphones, the social network may suggest that you friend people you have shared a GPS data point with, meaning your friend suggestions could include someone whose face you know, but whose name you did not until Facebook offered it up to you,” Tech website Fusion reported on Tuesday.
This happens when two people are at the same place at the same time and used their smartphones to either check-in or just scroll through what his/her friends might have shared on the website.
Facebook “always” has access to a user’s location until the setting is changed to “never”.
Meanwhile, Facebook has clarified that this is not the only reason why users are getting these suggestions.
“The two persons must have had something else in common, such as overlapping networks,” a Facebook spokesperson was quoted as saying.
“Location-information by itself does not indicate that two people might be friends. That’s why location is only one of the factors we use to suggest people you may know,” the spokesperson said.
If this news disturbs you, you can prevent this by turning off Facebook’s access to your location — a feature which is in your phone’s privacy settings.