Facebook Can Get Location Data From Your Photos

iOS users can limit their location exposure to apps that ask for it, but your location is leaking in another area: Your photo metadata.

I took a photo with my iPhone and then uploaded that to my Facebook account. I used Facebook’s app on my iPhone, the same app that has been told “never” to access my location, the same account that knows I have this switched off. But Facebook still collects the location tag from that photo, along with my IP address.

It’s important to note that Facebook and other companies have had this ability for years. This is not, as the Forbes article implies, a response to iOS 14.5 App Tracking Transparency. The app I use to view and edit metadata is Metapho.

Apple Will Ban ‘X-Mode’ Data Broker From its Platforms

A report from The Wall Street Journal reveals that Apple and Google are banning a data broker called X-Mode from collecting location data from their platforms. (Non-paywalled version here). This is due to X-Mode links to selling data to government contractors involved in national security as Vice reported.

Both Apple and Google disclosed their decision to ban X-Mode to investigators working for Sen. Ron Wyden (D., Ore.), who has been conducting an investigation into the sale of location data to government entities.

IRS Investigated for Location Data Usage Without Warrant

The IRS is being investigated for its use of location data collected from apps without obtaining warrants.

The IRS’ attempts were not successful though, as the people the IRS was looking for weren’t included in the particular Venntel data set, the aide added.

But the IRS still obtained this data without a warrant, and the legal justification for doing so remains unclear. The aide said that the IRS received verbal approval to use the data, but stopped responding to their office’s inquiries.