A new feature in iOS 13, which will ship to supported iPhone models this month, has caught the Facebook app trying to obtain Bluetooth access for collecting location data.
iOS 13 comes with new privacy controls that provide users with more information regarding the access apps on their devices require after installation.
In addition to managing app permissions, iOS can now paint a more accurate picture of how apps use our data, including any attempts to access information that have presumably went undetected before.
Among them there’s the Facebook app, which has recently been caught by iOS 13 trying to obtain Bluetooth access for location tracking. The notification, which is rather unusual for an app like Facebook, showed up on devices running the latest iOS 13 beta that is identical with the stable build going live to everyone later this month.
iOS 13 launching this week
Bluetooth technology is employed by Facebook to tracking the physical location of a user and, as BI notes, to determine the proximity to other devices running the app. This helps the social network determine the relationship between users based on their location and how much time they spend together, while also serving more personalized ads.
Facebook has recently published a blog post to explain how location data is being used on Android and iOS, but the company hasn’t said anything about how it uses Bluetooth and for how long this system has been around on mobile devices.
“Facebook is better with location. It powers features like check-ins and makes planning events easier. It helps improve ads and keep you and the Facebook community safe. Features like Find Wi-Fi and Nearby Friends use precise location even when you’re not using the app to make sure that alerts and tools are accurate and personalized for you,” Paul McDonald, Engineering Director, Location Platform, explains.
iOS 13 will go live for all iPhones on September 19, so expect a growing number of users to see these notifications if the Facebook app is installed.