Update (June 28): After twice confirming it used location to suggest new friends, Facebook now says it doesn’t currently use “location data, such as device location and location information you add to your profile, to suggest people you may know.” The company says it ran a brief test using location last year. New story here.
“People You May Know are people on Facebook that you might know,” a Facebook spokesperson said. “We show you people based on mutual friends, work and education information, networks you’re part of, contacts you’ve imported and many other factors.”
One of those factors is smartphone location. A Facebook spokesperson said though that shared location alone would not result in a friend suggestion, saying that the two parents must have had something else in common, such as overlapping networks.
“Location information by itself doesn’t indicate that two people might be friends,” said the Facebook spokesperson. “That’s why location is only one of the factors we use to suggest people you may know.”