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Facebook to scrap ‘nearby friends’ and other location-based features

As part of its ongoing efforts to streamline its services, Facebook has announced that Nearby Friends will be phased out by the end of the month.

Through the Nearby Friends feature of the Meta messaging platform, users can easily share their current location with their Facebook friends and family.

It was made available to users of Android and iOS operating systems in 2014. Although some users were initially concerned about the function of the tool, it has since been included in the Facebook app.

Facebook did not provide a reason for why the features Location History, Background Location, and Weather Alert will be phased out.

Facebook informed its users that it would no longer collect any information associated with these features, even if users had previously enabled them as from May 31, 2022. Additional data will be removed from the server, including any previously collected information.

Also announced is that users will be able to view and download their location history until August 1, 2022. After that date, users will no longer be able to view or download any previously shared location history or background location.

User's Point of View

A large number of Facebook users have taken to Twitter to express their dissatisfaction with the removal of these features from the social network.

While some users are disappointed by Facebook's decision because they can no longer find their friends and family, others are ecstatic because they can now find their friends and family.

The words 'creepy', 'stalking,' and 'unsafe' were frequently used in the comments section.

Others have expressed little interest in the outcome of the vote. The weather feature on the website is the most important aspect of the website for them.

Speculations begin to circulate

Despite the fact that no specific reason has been provided for the discontinuation of these features, There have been rumors that the company is attempting to reduce the amount of data it gathers. And it's possible that this is related to the increased scrutiny being paid to Meta's data collection practices.

For tech giants, collecting user data has proven to be a difficult task. Due to the fact that Facebook and Instagram were not permitted to transfer data to or from the United States, Meta threatened to ban them from participating in EU-wide elections in February 2022. Several EU officials were forced to intervene after Facebook was ordered to cease transatlantic data transfers by a court order. In the course of investigating, it was discovered that these data transfers were not adequately protected, particularly against American government surveillance.

The guiding principles for the Digital Service Act were finalized by the European Union in April. This, among other things, has an impact on how digital businesses such as Facebook, Google, and others manage content moderation and user data on their respective platforms.

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