Facebook Camera app really, really wants to know your location
Screenshot by Eric Mack/CNET)
Since Facebook released its new “Camera” mobile app yesterday, there’s been speculation as to why the social network would buy Instagram and then release its own very similar app. The answer could be that Instagram as it already exists in the world just isn’t quite authoritarian enough for Facebook’s tastes.
At least that’s one possible explanation — one seemingly given credence by the fact that the Camera app requires iOS Location Services to be turned on so it can access your locally stored photos.
At issue, according to BuzzFeed, is the fact that Facebook saves a little bit of location information with each photo taken, and it uses its own process to access the camera roll, rather than the standard iOS photo picker. Apparently this means Facebook won’t go near your photos without location services turned on, because it ruins the app’s mojo or something.
According to one developer on Twitter, the location services requirement is “an iOS limitation in order to be able to multiselect. Otherwise you would have had to pick one photo at a time…”
CNET’s Bridget Carey received confirmation, however, that you can keep Facebook Camera from getting your photo’s location, just in case you’re creeped out by a massive social network and now publicly traded company knowing where you’ve been. (As if they didn’t already.)
The work around: Just make sure that when you take photos with the
iPhone camera, you’ve turned off location permissions. No GPS data is then attached to your photos. Then you can go into Facebook Camera and upload them location-free.
iOS Location Services is turned on by default, but it can be disabled in the device settings, and users can choose which apps are allowed to access Location Settings. Also, while it will be little comfort to those truly paranoid about privacy, users of the app should be able to choose whether to share a photo’s location data when posting it to Facebook.
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