How does Facebook collect user, non-user data? Company clarifies

File photo. Photograph:( WION )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Apr 17, 2018, 11.28 AM (IST)

Mark Zuckerberg testified before the US Congress last week over Facebook's data breach issue and answered around 500 question in the five-hour-long interaction.

Now, Facebook has answered some questions that perhaps the users would be unaware of. The clarification came on Monday in a post written by Facebook's product management director David Baser, who leads a team at the company that focuses on privacy and data use and the tools users can use to control and download their information. 

Baser listed the various ways that Facebook gets data about people from other websites and apps: social plug-ins like Facebook’s “share” and “like” buttons the Facebook login, which one can use to enter into another website or app Facebook Analytics, which lets those other sites and apps better understand how folks use their services plus other tools which let sites and apps serve and measure the effectiveness of ads. 

He informed that when a user visits a site or app that uses Facebook's services, they receive information even if the user is logged out or don’t have a Facebook account. This is because other apps and sites don’t know who is using Facebook.

Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn all have similar Like and Share buttons to help people share things on their services. Google has a popular analytics service. And Amazon, Google and Twitter all offer login features. These companies — and many others — also offer advertising services.

Apps and websites that use Facebook's services, such as the Like button or Facebook Analytics, send them information to make their content and ads better.

The website also gets information about the browser and operating system (for example Android or Windows) a user is using because not all browsers and devices support the same features. It also gets cookies, which are identifiers that websites use to know if a user has visited before. This can help with things like saving items in their shopping cart.

Baser goes on to say that Facebook uses the information it gets to provide various services to these sites or apps, including the manner in which such sites can show ads.

There are three main ways in which Facebook uses the information they get from other websites and apps: providing our services to these sites or apps improving safety and security on Facebook and enhancing our own products and services. 

He finally mentioned how a user is in full control of their information on Facebook and be transparent about what information Facebook has and how it is used.