Facebook talks Home privacy and data collection in new blog postAlex Wagner - Editorial Director of News and Content
The words "Facebook" and "privacy" are ones that seem to show up together fairly frequently. Yesterday's introduction of Facebook Home was no different, as many users wondered exactly what kind of information Facebook would be collecting with its new Android software that launches apps and delivers messages for a user. Now Facebook has put up a blog post in response to all of the questions surrounding Home and the data that it'll gather.
In its post, Facebook is quick to point out that users don't need to install Home to access the social network on their Android phone. Facebook also points out that Home can be turned off in its Home Settings Menu, and users can also disable just the Home lock screen if they'd like. Should a user decide to keep Home, though, Facebook says that the app can collect information from user actions including Likes and comments. Home can also gather details about a user's list of apps as well as which ones a user launches. For example, Facebook says that Home can see when a user launches a mapping app using the launcher. The company promises that it won't actually collect any data from a user's actions inside those apps.
On devices that come with Home preinstalled, Facebook explains that it can gather details related to app notifications, such as the identity of the app that's creating them. However, it says that it won't collect any data from the content of the notification. Any identifying info that is collected from these notifications and apps is deleted after 90 days. Finally, Facebook says that the location data collected by Home is no different than the regular Facebook app, adding that location permissions can be disabled in the device's settings.
Since Facebook Home handles things like launching a user's apps and delivering notifications, it's no surprise to hear that the software will be gathering some of the related data in the process. While Facebook's explanation of Home privacy and data collection isn't likely to put everyone at ease, I'm sure that some folks are glad to see the company explaining the types of information that Home will be gathering. And hey, if the thought of Facebook learning details about which apps are installed and creating notifications makes a user uneasy, he or she can always turn Home off and put Android back in charge of handling apps and alerts.
Now that Home has been official for a full day and Facebook has given a rundown of its data collection policy, what do you all think of the new software? Will you be checking out Home once its compatible with your device?