Tech & Science Facebook fuels broad privacy debate by tracking non-users

11:07  16 april  2018
11:07  16 april  2018 Source:   Reuters

Instagram to allow users to download their data

  Instagram to allow users to download their data Facebook Inc's Instagram will soon allow its users to download a copy of all the content they have uploaded on the photo-sharing platform, a spokesman said on Wednesday. The disclosure comes amid global concerns about the privacy of users' information on social media platforms and the amount of user data that companies keep. While Facebook has allowed its users to download their photos, messages, clicked advertisements and a log of all their activity on the social networking platform since at least 2010, Instagram has lacked any such feature.

Facebook Fuels Broad Privacy Debate by Tracking Non - Users . Featured Video. StoryCorps: Marking the Distance. Privacy Notice. About VOA.

Some people don’t want to be tracked by Facebook , so they don’t register an account with the site. “Our buttons and plugins send over basic information about users ’ browsing sessions. For non - Facebook members, previously we didn’t use it.

a close up of a building: A Facebook logo is pictured at the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt© REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski/File Photo A Facebook logo is pictured at the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt Concern about Facebook Inc's respect for data privacy is widening to include the information it collects about non-users, after Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said the world's largest social network tracks people whether they have accounts or not.

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.

Instagram to allow users to download their data

  Instagram to allow users to download their data Facebook Inc's Instagram will soon allow its users to download a copy of all the content they have uploaded on the photo-sharing platform, a spokesman said on Wednesday. The disclosure comes amid global concerns about the privacy of users' information on social media platforms and the amount of user data that companies keep. While Facebook has allowed its users to download their photos, messages, clicked advertisements and a log of all their activity on the social networking platform since at least 2010, Instagram has lacked any such feature.

Facebook confirmed that this broad user tracking function remains untouched in Beacon, despite the changes announced Wednesday, a As long as Beacon silently tracks logged-off, former and non -members, people who use Facebook and the sites affiliated with Beacon face a privacy threat

Facebook confirmed that this broad user tracking function remains untouched in Beacon, despite the changes announced Wednesday, a As long as Beacon silently tracks logged-off, former and non -members, people who use Facebook and the sites affiliated with Beacon face a privacy threat

Zuckerberg said on Wednesday under questioning by U.S. Representative Ben Luján that, for security reasons, Facebook also collects "data of people who have not signed up for Facebook."

Lawmakers and privacy advocates immediately protested the practice, with many saying Facebook needed to develop a way for non-users to find out what the company knows about them.

"We've got to fix that," Representative Luján, a Democrat, told Zuckerberg, calling for such disclosure, a move that would have unclear effects on the company's ability to target ads. Zuckerberg did not respond. On Friday Facebook said it had no plans to build such a tool.

Critics said that Zuckerberg has not said enough about the extent and use of the data. "It's not clear what Facebook is doing with that information," said Chris Calabrese, vice president for policy at the Center for Democracy & Technology, a Washington advocacy group.

Facebook is probably tracking you whether you use it or not -- and it doesn't really give you a choice

  Facebook is probably tracking you whether you use it or not -- and it doesn't really give you a choice Facebook collects data on non-users and logged out users alike, a company representative acknowledged Monday in a blog post. Facebook tracks users who visit apps and websites that have incorporated services like its "like" and "share" buttons, David Baser, the company's product management director, said in a blog postMonday. 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 says it will be able to better target non - Facebook users and serve relevant ads to them, though its practices An independent report from the Belgian Privacy Commission last year criticized Facebook for tracking users who had logged out, as well as those who didn't even have an account.

Social network claims privacy report commissioned by the Belgian privacy watchdog ‘gets it wrong multiple times’ over what Facebook does with user data.

COOKIES EVERYWHERE

Facebook Faces Indonesian Police Investigation Over Data Breach

  Facebook Faces Indonesian Police Investigation Over Data Breach Facebook Inc is facing possible criminal sanctions in Indonesia as police begin to investigate whether the social-media company breached privacy laws and allowed the data of Indonesian users to be improperly shared. Indonesia’s Communications Minister Rudiantara has asked the chief of the National Police, Tito Karnavian, to investigate the matter after Facebook revealed Thursday that the personal information of more than million Indonesian Facebook users could have been obtained by political consultant Cambridge Analytica. The minister has previously threatened to shut down Facebook over the matter.

A Belgian court has now ordered Facebook to stop tracking users after it discovered that the company was breaking privacy laws by using cookies and social plugins to invisibly track Facebook users and non - users around the web.

Facebook is under the scanner of various governments for breaching privacy laws Reuters. Facebook has once again come under fire for its privacy policies. In February, Facebook was pulled up by French authorities in a similar probe for tracking non - users data and sending them to the US.

Facebook gets some data on non-users from people on its network, such as when a user uploads email addresses of friends. Other information comes from "cookies," small files stored via a browser and used by Facebook and others to track people on the internet, sometimes to target them with ads.

"This kind of data collection is fundamental to how the internet works," Facebook said in a statement to Reuters.

Asked if people could opt out, Facebook added, "There are basic things you can do to limit the use of this information for advertising, like using browser or device settings to delete cookies. This would apply to other services beyond Facebook because, as mentioned, it is standard to how the internet works."

Facebook often installs cookies on non-users' browsers if they visit sites with Facebook "like" and "share" buttons, whether or not a person pushes a button. Facebook said it uses browsing data to create analytics reports, including about traffic to a site.

The company said it does not use the data to target ads, except those inviting people to join Facebook.

WhatsApp Reassures User Privacy Amid Facebook Scandal

  WhatsApp Reassures User Privacy Amid Facebook Scandal WhatsApp has reassured its over 1.5 billion users that their data is kept private by its service.WhatsApp posted a new FAQ on its WhatsApp for Business website on Wednesday to reiterate the end-to-end encryption of messages and calls made through its app, as first reported by MSPoweruser. “We care about your privacy. All WhatsApp messages and calls are secured with end-to-end encryption,” the company wrote. “This ensures only you and the person you're communicating with can read your messages or listen to your calls, and nobody in between, not even WhatsApp.

The social network will show ads to non - Facebook users on other websites. Since 2011, the group has been working on recommendations for a simple mechanism for consumers to express their privacy preferences to the broad range of companies that now get access to their data.

A Belgian court has overturned a ruling that would have forced Facebook to stop tracking non - users who had visited its pages, The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. A Brussels appeals court found that the Belgian Privacy Commission, which brought a case against Facebook last year

TARGETING FACEBOOK

Advocates and lawmakers say they are singling out Facebook because of its size, rivalled outside China only by Alphabet Inc's Google, and because they allege Zuckerberg was not forthcoming about the extent and reasons for the tracking.

"He's either deliberately misunderstanding some of the questions, or he's not clear about what's actually happening inside Facebook's operation," said Daniel Kahn Gillmor, a senior staff technologist at the American Civil Liberties Union.

Zuckerberg, for instance, said the collection was done for security purposes, without explaining further or saying whether it was also used for measurement or analytics, Gillmor said, adding that Facebook had a business incentive to use the non-user data to target ads.

Facebook declined to comment on why Zuckerberg referred to security only.

Gillmor said Facebook could build databases on non-users by combining web browsing history with uploaded contacts. Facebook said on Friday that it does not do so.

The ACLU is pushing U.S. lawmakers to enact broad privacy legislation including a requirement for consent prior to data collection.

The first regulatory challenge to Facebook's practices for non-users may come next month when a new European Union law, known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), takes effect and requires notice and consent prior to data collection.

WhatsApp Reassures User Privacy Amid Facebook Scandal

  WhatsApp Reassures User Privacy Amid Facebook Scandal WhatsApp has reassured its over 1.5 billion users that their data is kept private by its service.WhatsApp posted a new FAQ on its WhatsApp for Business website on Wednesday to reiterate the end-to-end encryption of messages and calls made through its app, as first reported by MSPoweruser. “We care about your privacy. All WhatsApp messages and calls are secured with end-to-end encryption,” the company wrote. “This ensures only you and the person you're communicating with can read your messages or listen to your calls, and nobody in between, not even WhatsApp.

"The Debate " is a column focused on the current debate around ad targeting and consumer privacy . Fortunately, for companies interested in tracking user behavior for Internet personalization, there Reading your article has made me remember how difficult it is for non -technical users to fully

In an attempt to ease users ’ concerns about privacy violations, Facebook is also introducing a feature called Ad Preferences, where users can edit the information Facebook has stored in its database. Protecting users ’ email address: Using Facebook Login tracks users ’ logins across sites.

At a minimum, "Facebook is going to have to think about ways to structure their technology to give that proper notice," said Woodrow Hartzog, a Northeastern University professor of law and computer science.

Facebook said in its statement on Friday, "Our products and services comply with applicable law and will comply with GDPR."

The social network would be wise to recognise at least a right to know, said Michael Froomkin, a University of Miami law professor.

"If I'm not a Facebook user, I ought to have a right to know what data Facebook has about me," Froomkin said.

(Reporting by David Ingram; Editing by Peter Henderson and Richard Chang)

Facebook says users must accept targeted ads even under new EU law .
<p>Facebook Inc said on Tuesday it would continue requiring people to accept targeted ads as a condition of using its service, a stance that may help keep its business model largely intact despite a new European Union privacy law.</p>The EU law, which takes effect next month, promises the biggest shakeup in online privacy since the birth of the internet. Companies face fines if they collect or use personal information without permission.

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