How to Disable Facebook Places Location Tracking

If this feature creeps you out a little bit, you're not alone

Tourist couple using smartphone in coffee shop.

 Maria Teijeiro / Getty Images

Facebook Places is a geolocational tool that lets users share their favorite local hotspots. People can use it to find new restaurants, businesses, and more. If you don't like Facebook sharing your location information with others though, you can turn this feature off (sort of). Here are a few things you can do to remove your location data from the Facebook Places map.

Remove Geotags From Your Pictures Before You Upload Them to Facebook

To ensure future pictures posted to Facebook and other social media sites don't reveal your location information, you should make sure the geotag information is never recorded in the first place. Most of the time this is done by turning off the location services setting on your smartphone's camera application so the geotag information doesn't get recorded in the picture's ​EXIF metadata. There are also apps that help strip our the geolocation information of pictures you've already taken. You might want to try deGeo (iPhone) or Photo Privacy Editor (Android) to remove the geotag info from your photos before uploading them to social media sites.

Disable Location Services for Facebook on Your Mobile Phone/Device

When you first installed Facebook on your mobile phone, it probably asked for permission to use the device's location services so it could let you "check-in" at different locations and tag photos with location information. If you don't want Facebook knowing where you're posting something from, you should revoke this permission in your phone's location services settings area.

Enable the Facebook Tag Review Feature

Facebook recently made an attempt to go from a super-granular privacy settings structure to an ultra-simple one. You cannot selectively prevent people from tagging you at a location, but you can turn on the tag review feature, which allows you to review anything you've been tagged in, whether it's a picture or a location check-in. You can decide whether tags get posted before the photo or check-in is posted, but only if you have the tag review feature enabled.

How To Enable the Facebook Tag Review Feature

After this setting is enabled, any post that you are tagged in, whether it's a photo, location check-in, etc, will have to gain your digital stamp of approval before it's posted to your timeline. This will effectively prevent anyone from posting your location without your express permission.

  1. Log into Facebook and go into the settings.

  2. Select Timeline and Tagging.

    Access the Timeline and Tagging settings in Facebook to change how people can tag you
  3. Under the section Review posts you're tagged in before the post appears on your timeline? select the arrow on the drop-down menu and choose Enabled instead of Disabled.

    This only controls what's allowed on your timeline. Posts you're tagged in still appear in search, News Feed, and other places on Facebook.

    Facebook lets you review posts you're tagged in but you need to enable it first
  4. Select Close.

Limit Who Can See Your Posts on Facebook

Facebook's privacy settings let you limit the visibility of future posts (such as ones with geotags in them). You can choose "Friends," "Specific Friends," "Only Me," "Custom," or "Everyone." We advise against choosing "Everyone" unless you want the whole world knowing where you are and where you've been.

This option applies to all future posts. Individual posts can be changed as they're created or after they're made, in case you want to make something more public or private later on. You can also use the "Limit Past Posts" option to change all of your old posts that might've been set to "Everyone" or "Friends of Friends" to "Friends Only."

It's a good idea to check your Facebook privacy settings about once a month as the company seems to make sweeping changes on a regular basis that could affect the settings you have in place.