- Facebook has confirmed it can collect a lot of data about users even if they seldom or never post to Facebook
- In a blog post, the company explained it can collect info if users use the "like" button on a third-party site, sign in to an app using Facebook, and so on
- However, the social media giant reiterates that it is not selling this information but uses it to improve its services and better target stories and ads
Facebook's product management director, David Baser, has confirmed in a blog post that the social media platform can collect a lot of data about users even if they seldom or never post to Facebook.
Baser, in the blog post titled ‘Hard Questions: What Data Does Facebook Collect When I’m Not Using Facebook, and Why?’, explained when Facebook and its partners collect users’ personal information and when it is shared.
The blog post explains how Facebook is able to gather information on people who do not use Facebook.
When does Facebook get data about people from other websites and apps?
Here are the basic things you need to know about how Facebook harvests and uses data as highlighted in the blog post:
Many websites and apps use Facebook services to make their content and ads more engaging and relevant. These services include:
1. Social plugins, such as our Like and Share buttons, which make other sites more social and help you share content on Facebook;
2. Facebook Login, which lets you use your Facebook account to log into another website or app;
3. Facebook Analytics, which helps websites and apps better understand how people use their services; and
4. Facebook ads and measurement tools, which enable websites and apps to show ads from Facebook advertisers, to run their own ads on Facebook or elsewhere, and to understand the effectiveness of their ads.
When you visit a site or app that uses our services, we receive information even if you're logged out or don't have a Facebook account. This is because other apps and sites don't know who is using Facebook.
NAIJ.com gathers from the blog post that Facebook collects data from a lot of places, such as apps that let you log in with a Facebook account, news sites that let you share articles to Facebook, and other spots.
Baser said Facebook collects information including a user’s computer's IP address, the type of browser the user is using to access the internet, the software the user’s computer runs (Android, macOS, Windows, iOS, etc.), and other material.
However, the Facebook's product management director said Facebook does not sell the data but only uses it to cater content.
Facebook also uses that data to target ads that it sells more accurately at its users, and can better understand what its users are doing online.
Baser explained: "If you visit a lot of sports sites that use our services, you might see sports-related stories higher up in your News Feed."
NAIJ.com learns that Facebook released the info about how the data it collects is shared as part of its initiative to be more transparent with the government and its users.
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Baser concluded in his blog post thus: “Whether it’s information from apps and websites, or information you share with other people on Facebook, we want to put you in control — and be transparent about what information Facebook has and how it is used. We’ll keep working to make that easier.”
NAIJ.com previously reported that Facebook Inc chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, told Congress on Monday, April 10, that the social media network should have done more to prevent itself and its members’ data being misused and offered a broad apology to lawmakers.
His conciliatory tone preceded two days of Congressional hearings where Zuckerberg was set to answer questions about Facebook user data being improperly appropriated by a political consultancy and the role the network played in the US 2016 election.
“We didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake,” he said in remarks released by the US House Energy and Commerce Committee on Monday.
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