Can You Trust Facebook with Your Love Life?
By Ann Yoo Abbott | February 21, 2020
If you have ever heard about the Facebook data privacy scandal or emotion experiment, you probably don’t trust Facebook with your personal data anymore. Facebook had let companies such as Spotify and Netflix read users’ private messages, and Facebook was sued for letting the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica access data from some 87 million users in 2018. It doesn’t end there. For one week in 2012, Facebook altered the algorithms it uses to determine which status updates appeared in the News Feed of 689,003 randomly selected users (about 1 of every 2,500 Facebook users). The results of this study were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
Recently, Facebook has launched its new dating service in the US. They had been advertising privacy is important when it comes to dating, so they consulted with experts in privacy and consumer protection and embedded privacy protections into the core of Facebook Dating. They say they are committed to protecting people’s privacy within Facebook Dating so that they can create a place where people feel comfortable looking for a date and starting meaningful relationships. Let’s see if this is really the case.
Facebook Dating Privacy & Data Use Policy
Here are some of the highlights from Facebook’s Data Policy as far as what information is collected when you create a profile and use Facebook Dating:
Content: Facebook collects the “content, communications and other information you provide” while using it, which includes what you’re saying to your Facebook Dating matches. “Our systems automatically process content and communications you and others provide to analyze context and what’s in them.”
Connections: Facebook Dating will also analyze what Facebook groups you join, who you match and interact with, and how – and analyze how those people interact with you. “…such as when others share or comment on a photo of you, send a message to you, or upload, sync, or import your contact information.”
Your Phone: Facebook Dating collects a lot of information from your phone, including the OS, hardware & software versions, battery level, signal strength, location, and nearby Wi-Fi access points, app and file names and types, what plugins you’re using and data from the cookies stored on your device. “…to better personalize the content (including ads) or features you see when you use our Products on another device…”
Your Location: To get suggested matches on Facebook Dating, you need to allow Facebook to access your location. Facebook collects and analyzes all sorts of things about where you take your phone, including where you live, where you go frequently. Even Bluetooth signals, and information about nearby Wi-Fi access points, beacons, and cell towers are part of the information they collect. Facebook also analyzes what location info you choose to share with Facebook friends, and what they share with you.
This list does not include everything that Facebook takes from us. Even after all these informations, they still have more listed on their Data Policy. You’ll want to read it for everything Facebook discloses about what they collect and how it’s used. Do you think Facebook collecting so much of our information is justified? Don’t you think it’s too excessive?