Facebook´s Spying Fest at a Glance
How far can Facebook go as far as spying on you without telling you? Perhaps a better question would be, what can´t Facebook collect from its users.
It can do anything it wants. The company has publicly admitted to practices that go beyond anything you could have probably come up with.
In a document sent to the Senate of the United States, Facebook answers point by point to the questions posed by this institution.
In 228 pages the company exposes the way it operates with respect to user data. One of the most controversial aspects is the collection of information.
Mark Zuckerberg’s company repeatedly lists how it collects specific data about the user’s devices and how they are used.
In the computer, one of the most striking parameters that Facebook monitors are the movements of the mouse. Traditionally this type of tracking, known as mouse tracking is used to know how users behave within a software platform, with the supposed aim of gathering information to improve its interface.
In the computer, Facebook controls the movements of the mouse cursor, as well as if a window is in the first or second plane.
The company adds in parentheses that this type of information “can help distinguish humans from robots”.
He also points out that all the information collected from a user through the multiple devices he uses, such as computers, smartphones, connected TVs, is crossed to “help provide the same personalized experience wherever people use Facebook”.
The document does not clarify whether Facebook uses the movements of the mouse for more than distinguishing between humans and robots, but does not claim to use it exclusively for this purpose.
In the past, the social network has been accused of trying methods that used mouse tracking to determine not only which ads a user clicks on, but also on which points of the screen it stops and for how long.
This type of information is important in that the place where the cursor stops coincides on many occasions with the point where we focus our attention, according to experts in mouse tracking.
Facebook´s spying does not stop at mouse tracking. It also collects data about the battery, storage or your operator.
In the memo sent to the Senate, Facebook also lists the information it collects about the attributes of the device that the user uses.
They are the operating system, the hardware and software versions, the battery level or the available storage capacity. It also collects information about the browser type and the types and names of installed applications and files.
The company also has the ability to access the bluetooth signal, as well as to track information about nearby Wi-Fi hotspots, telecommunications towers or other signal-emitting devices, such as beacons.
The name of the mobile operator of a user or his Internet provider are other data that the social network knows.
In this section related to the connection, Facebook also detects “the telephone number, the IP address, the connection speed and, in some cases, information about the devices that are near or in the same network, with what we can do things like helping them send a video from the phone to the television. “
Information on GPS location, as well as access to the camera and the photo gallery are other aspects, already widely known, that the company lists in the document as data it illegally collects from users.
Yes, it makes clear, before several questions throughout the document, that “it does not use the microphone of the user’s phone or any other method to extract audio” in order to influence the announcements or determine what appears to the user in its news feed.
After lying so much and after hiding so much information regarding its operations, there is no way anyone could believe anything that Facebook claims beyond its acceptance of continuous violations of user privacy.
Facebook Spying at a Glance
Facebook´s ilegal data collection is not limited to your friend list, geo-location or posts. It goes well beyond what you imagine, on all of your devices (computers, smartphones, connected TVs).
- Mouse tracking
- Hardware version
- Software version
- Battery performance
- Internet operator
- Operating system
- Installed apps and programs
- Bluetooth connection
- Wi-Fi hotspots
- Telecommunications towers
- Mobile operator
- Internet provider
- Telephone number
- IP address
- Connection speed
- Devices that are near or in the same network
- The camera
- Photo gallery