This started happening with the latest Facebook app update.

I don't want to disable my GPS outright -- I like that it comes up automatically when I call Google Maps. (Which usually is in a "where the hell am I" situation.) But I see no valid reason to allow Facebook to query where I am all the time. Facebook's settings don't have an option to disable this.

Since my phone (Milestone I) is rooted (but still with Motorola's official 2.2.1 OS), I wonder if there's some app through which I could enable/disable GPS usage per app. Is there such a thing?

(If there is, I'd like to disable it in the browser too.)

  • By "the latest update" do you mean 1.7 or 1.7.1? They were apparently released on the same day. I simply reverted to 1.6.4 using Titanium Backup, but that won't work if you don't have the apk backed up already. Sep 16, 2011 at 13:23

5 Answers 5


Similar to Permissions Denied, mentioned by Matthew is LBE Privacy Guard which also allows you to selectively disable permissions for apps. Also good for disabling geo-tagging on your photos as well as preventing Facebook and/or Twitter from broadcasting your location.


Stock Android doesn't offer ability to disallow apps use of specific permissions. At install time, once you agree to accept whatever permissions the app requests - you are stuck with them unless you uninstall the app.

Since you are rooted, you can try using Tasker to automate enabling of GPS only when using certain apps like Maps, and disabling it when the app exits. This way you can keep GPS disabled, so that Facebook and any other apps don't automatically lock in on you.

Also, the CyanogenMod 7.1 custom ROM does have this feature. Here is a step-by-step installation guide on installing it on your Milestone. In CM7, on the Manage Applications settings, when you tap on any app you can tap on any permission to revoke it (it will get crossed out.) Tap it again to undo the change. Keep in mind that although apps usually handle absence of Internet or GPS permissions gracefully, some more basic permissions (e.g. writing/reading to/from SD Card) might cause the app to crash or become unstable.

  • Thanks for pointing out there's a CM for the Milestone! It is most definitely in my plans, although I'll have to work up some courage to do that. In the meantime, I think I'll use one of the blocker apps described in the other answers.
    – JCCyC
    Sep 16, 2011 at 20:10

An app like Permissions Denied (requires root) can help with that. It says it doesn't work on every device and ROM but there are other similar apps that might if this doesn't do the trick for you.

Generally you could also unpack the APK, edit the AndroidManifest.xml file to remove permissions, repack everything, and install that modified version. I'm not sure if it works for signed apps (are there encrypted apps?) though, I can't currently find the guide I had read to do this. It may also be against the terms of use and so on, so make sure you know and take responsibility for what you're doing :)


very simple :)

goto settings -> Personal -> locations & turn off GPS satellites

worked for me


Tasker is nice, but I found another android app - "GPS Privacy", that removes the GPS coordinates automatically. You just define your "Privacy areas", and your pictures won't have GPS tags when taken in these areas. Very useful if you have kids who have the pictures uploaded automatically online. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details

Hope this would be helpful for you as well!

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