Can Facebook Track Where a Post Came From?

by David Weedmark

While anyone can set up an anonymous account on Facebook, hiding your location on your profile won't change the digital footprint you leave with Facebook every time you log in. Not only does Facebook record every post made by each account, it logs the IP address used to make the post. Facebook can provide location information to law enforcement authorities should someone break the law. Facebook also uses IP addresses to serve location-based ads to users on its website.

Accessing Location Information

Facebook won't provide you with location information about anyone else's accounts, but it can provide this information to law enforcement authorities. For example, if someone is threatening you with posts on your business page, the police may be able to get location information from Facebook. For civil matters like copyright infringement or libel, federal law prohibits Facebook from releasing much information about an account, so it's unknown whether or not Facebook would provide you with location information even with a civil subpoena.

Getting Your Own Location

If you need to access your own location details, or if you just want to see the type of information Facebook collects, you can download this from the Account Settings page from your personal profile. A link appears at the bottom of the page with instructions for downloading your information. The date, time, IP address and details about the Web browser or app you used are listed in the Security tab of the downloaded index file.

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About the Author

A published author and professional speaker, David Weedmark has advised businesses and governments on technology, media and marketing for more than 20 years. He has taught computer science at Algonquin College, has started three successful businesses, and has written hundreds of articles for newspapers and magazines throughout Canada and the United States.

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