Privacy

Chrome extension creates map of Facebook users’ precise locations

May 29, 2015

A future Facebook intern created a Google Chrome extension earlier this week to highlight the precise location data the social media service collects through its Messenger app.

Through his extension, Aran Khanna, a computer science and mathematics student at Harvard College, was able to create maps of Facebook users' locations based off their message tags.

His aggregated data allowed him to monitor messages for patterns that, in turn, identified users' homes and daily life routines, such as their class schedules. Messenger collects location data by default and stores latitude and longitude coordinates.

Khanna pinpointed senders' locations to within less than a meter.

A Facebook spokesperson told SCMagazine.com that it will roll out improvements to Messenger soon but in the meantime “people can still choose to turn location off at any time by tapping the blue arrow in the message composer.”

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