Update Facebook Settings to Disable Location Tracking

Facebook recently implemented a new feature, called Places, that allows you to post your physical location, much the same way that other applications like Foursquare, Gowalla, and others do. The Facebook feature also allows others to check you in at location, enabling people to post where you are and where they saw you.

This feature is enabled by default. If you turn off this feature for yourself, it can still be possible for other people to post your location on your behalf. Granted, there’s nothing preventing someone from posting a status update saying they saw you somewhere, but if you want to disable the ability to be tracked with Facebook’s new location services, read on.

From what I can tell there are three different setting that need to be disabled. Go to Account > Privacy Settings > Customize and make the following changes:

Under “Things I Share”

  • Places I check in to: Only Me
  • Include me in “People Here Now” after I check in: Disable

Under “Things others share”

  • Friends can check me in to Places: Disable

Facebook also has a Places FAQ page that provides more information on this new feature.

UPDATE: After reading “How to Disable Facebook Places” tonight on Lifehacker I found I missed a fourth item. You have to also prevent your friend’s applications from collecting your location. This is not in the same Privacy settings screen, it’s under Account > Privacy Settings > Applications and Websites (in the lower left.)

  • Edit your settings
  • For the section called “Info accessible through your friends” click “Edit Settings”
  • Uncheck “Places I check in to” and save your settings

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