A few days back, it was reported that Facebook accesses your location even if you have turned off location services. Facebook has confirmed this to the letter it wrote to two senators.
Facebook told in the letter that it uses three methods to track users’ locations. Only one of them depends on location services. Facebook wrote a letter to Senators Christopher A Coons and Josh Hawley and the letter was seen by The Hill.
Even if someone does not enable location services, Facebook may still understand information about the location based on information that they and others provide through their activities and connections on our services. For example, if someone responds to an event on Facebook for a local music festival, upload a location-tagged video, or gets tagged by a friend in a check-in at a restaurant, these actions have give us information about that person’s likely location. Similarly, a person might share where they live by setting a location in Marketplace or adding their address to their profile.
Not just this, Facebook also accesses your location by using your IP address. Though it may not be accurate or correct but it’s enough to give an idea.
Every device that is connected to the Internet is assigned an IP address that identifies its particular connection to the Internet and it serves as a routing address for any data sent to and from the device. That address – like a return address on envelope – identifies where the device is on the Internet. The device necessarily transmit the address, and anyone the device communicates with receives it, whereever she stands or receive any message or information […]
An IP address assigned to a mobile device by a wireless carrier might reflect only the city or area where the device connected to the network. For this reason, IP addresses are generally considered to be in precise ways of understanding location and can be inaccurate.
This means that even if you have turned Facebook location off, the social network would still be able to track you and access your location based on other factors.
Facebook says that it uses location data to improve and deliver ads properly. The response has been criticized by the senators.