Facebook clarifies how it collects data when you're logged out

Marco Green
April 17, 2018

"Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn all have similar Like and Share buttons to help people share things on their services". Because the sites and apps don't know which of their visitors and users are signed up with Facebook, they can't distinguish between users and non-users of the social network when sending data to Facebook, Baser said. The company gets this data from websites and apps that let people share or like posts using Facebook plugins, or log into the website with their Facebook accounts.

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.

Following the US Congressional hearing last week where CEO Mark Zuckerberg was grilled about Facebook's data gathering and sharing practices, the social media network is trying to limit the damage by explaining how its various data collection policies work. "And Amazon, Google and Twitter all offer login features", Baser wrote in in the blog post. "These companies and many others also offer advertising services", adds Baser.

Facebook Analytics provides developers information on how people are spending time on their websites and apps. This is because other apps and sites don't know who is using Facebook. When a user clicks on a like button on a website or app, for the data to reflect on the website, Facebook has to send it to the browser and for that it needs the IP address.

Many websites and apps use Facebook services to make their content and ads more engaging and relevant.

According to Facebook, the information it receives can include the name of the website or app, your IP address, your browser, what operating system you use and whether you've visited the third-party site before.

"Providing our services to these sites or apps; improving safety and security on Facebook; and enhancing our own products and services", Baser said. "For example, receiving data about the sites a particular browser has visited can help us identify bad actors", he posted.

Privacy concerns have swamped Facebook since it acknowledged last month that information about millions of users wrongly ended up in the hands of political consultancy Cambridge Analytica, a firm that has counted U.S. President Donald Trump's 2016 electoral campaign among its clients.

Facebook says it can match that data to a Facebook profile, if the person has one. The data originally came from a Cambridge University researcher named Aleksandr Kogan, who collected the information legitimately through a personality quiz app, but then broke Facebook's terms of service by passing it onto Cambridge Analytica. Whether it's because Apple and Google aren't CEO'd by their founders any more, or we've grown to see iOS and Android as such underlying platforms that they aren't responsible for what third-party developers do, scrutiny has focused on Zuckerberg and Facebook.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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