Facebook responds to how it collects data when you are logged out

Sen. Orrin Hatch R-Utah second from left questions Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg during a joint hearing of the Commerce and Judiciary Committees

Sen. Orrin Hatch R-Utah second from left questions Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg during a joint hearing of the Commerce and Judiciary Committees

"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", wrote David Baser, Facebook's Product Management Director in a blog post on Facebook. While this does not personally identify individuals, it does provide user demographic data to the websites and Facebook as part of its analytics service.

The social media giant admitted that the several websites and apps make use of Facebook services to make their content and advertisements more relevant and engaging to their users.

"'Whether it's information from apps and websites or information you share with other people on Facebook, we want to put you in control - and be transparent about what information Facebook has and how it is used". "This means protecting it via finding and fixing security vulnerabilities, but also from third party companies or apps buying or collecting their data through other means barred by our terms. Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn all have similar Like and Share buttons to help people share things on their services", he said. Google has a popular analytics service. "And Amazon, Google and Twitter all offer login features", Facebook said. While IP addresses help list the countries where people are using an app, browser and operating system information gives developers data about the platforms people use. However, if the website you are visiting uses Facebook technology, you are often left with little choice. "This can help with things like saving items in your shopping cart", Facebook explained.

"We require these security measures for the company's benefit because of the importance of Mr. Zuckerberg to Facebook, and we believe that the costs of this overall security program are appropriate and necessary". You don't actually get the data until Facebook sends you another email (SF Weekly received this email about 15 minutes after requesting it).

There are three main ways in which Facebook apparently uses the information it receives.

"Many companies offer these types of services and, like Facebook, they also get information from the apps and sites that use them".

"We don't sell the data".

Facebook is quick to note that when users sign up for an account, they must agree to the company's data policy. "If you've looked at travel sites, we can show you ads for hotels and rental cars", he said.

The company insists that it only provides insights for advertisers based on user metrics, and maintains that Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm based in the United Kingdom that claims to influence elections, took advantage of this system back in 2014.

"This in turn stops the hoax from spreading and reduces the number of people who see it.Pages and domains that repeatedly share false news will also see their distribution reduced and their ability to monetise and advertise removed", it said.

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