I'm using Facebook on iOS 7. When I send a message, my location is included, and the prompt tells me how to turn it off permanently: Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services and turn it off for Facebook. But Facebook doesn't appear as an app in Location Services. So, how do I prevent Facebook from accessing my location?

To be clear, the question is not about whether Facebook includes my location in messages. It's that I don't trust Facebook itself to access my location.

  • All apps that have access to location services appear in that setting screen. If it's not there, then it either a) has never requested access to your location or b) does not support that particular service. An app cannot access your location without your knowledge. iOS does not give apps such permissions.
    – user10355
    Dec 31 '13 at 6:26
  • I understand that in general iOS doesn't let apps access the user's location without the user's approval, but I'm just a little hesitant about Facebook, since it's kind of integrated into the OS. Regarding your comment that if an app doesn't appear in Location Services, it means that it hasn't accessed your location, I agree, but I did open Facebook and it did access my location, or claimed that it did -- it put a blue location icon with my message, told me that it included my location with my message, and told me how to turn it off. Dec 31 '13 at 6:36
  • Maybe, despite what it claims, it doesn't actually access my location till I press Send to send the message? I asked it to remove the location and then send the message, so maybe it never accessed my location, despite saying it did? In any case, this is a horribly confusing UX. Dec 31 '13 at 6:38
  • Whether or not Facebook is now integrated into iOS, it is still an app that must be downloaded through the App Store. As such, it's required to pass Apple's approval process just like any other app. Apple only allows documentaries APIs and would never allow it into the store if it did anything against their policies. Requesting location services approval is mandatory for any app, even ones that come with iOS (such as Camera, Safari and even Siri).
    – user10355
    Dec 31 '13 at 7:06
  • Makes sense. So is the only explanation that Facebook said it accessed my location, but didn't actually do so until I pressed Send to send the message, by which time I'd asked it to not to attach the location? Dec 31 '13 at 8:11

Indeed @cksum appears to be correct. I just tested this on my dev device that's never had Facebook installed. The app said that it knew my location and showed the blue location icon, but didn't show in the list of apps in Location Services.

I pressed 'send' and got the 'Facebook wants to use your location' message, which I accepted and now the app is in the list and allowed me to switch it off.

In conclusion, yes it appears that Facebook doesn't request the actual location data until you press send, at which point the app is added to the list in Settings.

  • Seconded. @grgrside is correct. I took the added step of then deleting the Facebook app from my device to free up some space for something useful. :\
    – IconDaemon
    Dec 31 '13 at 11:14

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