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Social Media

Facebook’s new Video Chat Device may be DATA Hungry

Facebook may soon invade privacy with a Price Tag

Facebook announced its video-chat device a few weeks earlier, named “Portal”. As what the Social Media company had to state was that it won’t be collecting any data or recording any personal information. But, the whole statement now seems to be very sketchy.

In fact, it turns out the company will be collecting data even without any consent. Facebook just admitted that Portal is completely competent of collecting data about the user and might be using that data to target ads. It seems it won’t be doing that straight away after the lot of lawsuits and cases the company has been in.

The miscommunication is confusing, to say the least. Recode, originally reported that “no data collected through Portal… will be used to target users with ads on Facebook.

Now, a full week later, Facebook has recanted that claim. Despite the fact that the company had said no data collected will be used for ad targeting, the Portal is fully able of being a data-collection monster, and that data can absolutely be used for ad targeting.

The company said in a statement:

Portal voice calling is built on the Messenger infrastructure, so when you make a video call on Portal, we collect the same types of information (i.e. usage data such as length of calls, frequency of calls) that we collect on other Messenger-enabled devices. We may use this information to inform the ads we show you across our platforms. Other general usage data, such as aggregate usage of apps, etc., may also feed into the information that we use to serve ads.

It seems like this was a simple case of Facebook stating one thing and meaning the complete opposite of the statement.

Reports from RECODE, state how disorganized the company is

In a follow-up interview, Facebook’s Rafa Camargo told Recode, “I think [my colleague] was intending to say that we don’t intend to use it. Potentially, it could be used.”

This is very shameful. It seems like Facebook’s communications team either screwed up on purpose and got caught, or they simply didn’t know how their new device worked. Either way, everyone who might have been planning about spending $200 or more on a Facebook-made gadget that put Facebook-powered microphones and cameras in their home now knows that Facebook designed all of this to be capable of collecting information about their lives that they could turn into profits via ads.

Other Big Companies are also in the Data Collection hunt

Facebook isn’t alone in this issue. The company follows Amazon and Google in using voice-activated speakers as possible data collection devices.

Amazon has been a little bolder about this. After all, the company came up with a device ‘Echo’ that uses a camera to analyze people’s outfits and uses that information to recommend clothes to buy.

There are also reports around that the company has plans to recommend specific brands when you ask Alexa about certain things. Google, meanwhile, isn’t actively eavesdropping on you, but it has been experimenting with introducing ads to various Home devices.

On a point worth noting, Google did not put a camera in its new Home Hub, citing customers’ privacy concerns.

Well, known for years that Facebook struggles with privacy and security. It’s been nearly a decade since Mark Zuckerberg famously said that privacy was no longer a “social norm,” and even though Facebook tried to backtrack on that claim for years, the company just keeps screwing up.

The Social Media Company has been already in a lot of issues with Privacy Invasion

It was only last week that Facebook admitted that a data breach had compromised the personal data of some 30 million users. In other words, whether by design or by accident, Facebook can’t protect people’s privacy.

As many people have said before, Facebook wants our data, because Facebook is a data company. It makes a lot of money by harvesting user data from billions of people because it can sell targeted ads with that data.

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Facebook’s first big push into the hardware space will amplify this data collection, and it shouldn’t be a shock if the company decides to sell ads against it. It is pretty remarkable, however, that the company’s being so damned disorganized about doing so.

About the author

Ashutosh Kumar

Hi, I am Ashutosh Kumar. Graduate in Journalism. Field of expertise is technology, automobile & lifestyle.

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