The above video shows the late Steve Jobs explaining Apple’s policy in regards to location data and privacy. Now this may have all been true when he said it, but things are a little different now. What Steve explains sounds nice: Each app having to request permission for location data each and every time they want it. But what happens in the real-world is illustrated perfectly every time I launch the Facebook app on iOS:
Every single time I open the Facebook app, I see that the locations services icon is active, which means the current app is receiving location data. Even if I’ve just opened the app to see what’s new on my timeline, Facebook is accessing my location data. Why? This is absolutely not what Jobs communicated when he talked about Apple being paranoid about location privacy.
Let’s say I turn off location services for the Facebook app:
This is all fine and good if I never want Facebook to use my location data. But what if I’m posting some photos from a camping trip I’m on, and I really would like to include my location data in this post, since I think that may be of interest to my friends. I should be able to tell Facebook they can use my location data just this once, right?
So, the Facebook app is suggesting that I just turn on location services indefinitely, and I’m not given the option to temporarily allow access.
So, what happened, Apple? Why do you always have to know where I am, Facebook? Really?