facebook messenger

A developer has created new software to track the real-time locations of those who use Facebook Messenger, it has been announced.

This new technology means that Facebook Messenger can track your location to within a metre.

The software was created by Harvard computer science and mathematics student, Aran Khanna.

His app Marauders Map – named after a Harry Potter book – unveils the identity of Facebook Messenger users, their location and previous movements.

It comes in the form of Chrome browser extensions that exploits the social network’s default location settings on iOS and Android.

Users must manually disable the app, which also uses GPS to place unsuspecting users on a map.

By analysing messengers sent over a period of a few days, it is possible to build up a profile of other users’ weekly schedules, predicting where one might be at any given time.

He could also track the location of anyone he wasn’t directly friends with too if they had sent messages to a group chat he was a member of.

Speaking about the technology, Khanna said: “Everyone I have shown this extension to has been anywhere from surprised to appalled that this much of their very personal data is online for their friends (and even complete strangers) to access.

“I decided to write this extension, because we are constantly being told how we are losing privacy with the increasing digitization of our lives, however the consequences never seem tangible.

“With this code you can see for yourself the potentially invasive usage of the information you share, and decide for yourself if this is something you should worry about.”

Facebook has since requested he disables the app but he has left instructions on Github for other developers to run their own versions of the tool.

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