CEO Adam Mosseri and the Instagram social media team have responded to reports that their app tracks location data and shares that information with followers who have specifically requested it.
A widely shared tweet claimed that, thanks to “a recent iOS update,” Instagram users' locations could be tracked with pinpoint accuracy. As a result, a lot of Instagram users have gone into the app's settings and removed location access.
Twitter's Instagram Communications team responded to the popular post by explaining the company's stance on users' precise locations.
Wanted to share this 🧵 for clarity. Location Services is a device setting on your phone, not a new feature from Instagram, and it powers things like location tags. We don’t share your location with other people. https://t.co/6R6XMOCppj
— Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) August 25, 2022
To be clear, we don’t share your location with others. Similar to other social media companies, we use precise location for things like location tags and maps features.
— Instagram Comms (@InstagramComms) August 25, 2022
As Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri explains, the app's location tag capabilities are powered by a user's device's location data, but the app itself will never share a user's location with third parties.
If you're looking for credible information, a viral Instagram post isn't always the greatest place to look. While referring to “a recent iOS upgrade,” the original post never clarified whether Instagram was responsible for the location feature or not.
Disabling an app's use of your location if you have concerns about it doing so can be done under the app's settings. iOS and Android both include tools for exchanging approximations of where you are rather than precise coordinates, and both can keep track of which programs have requested your precise location in the past.