Facebook explains how it collects data from non-users
The Cambridge Analytica scandal has uncovered many things that Facebook had hidden, getting that Mark Zuckerberg himself had to sit down to face the company in front of the Senate and Congress of the United States.
One of the points that came to light are the so-called “shadow profiles”(profiles shadow / ghost) profiles that have created on a person who has not even registered in the social network.
David Baser, director of Product Management of Facebook, signs an entry in the blog of the company in which they acknowledge that they collect data from users that are alien to the social network.
“When you visit a website or application that uses our services, we receive the information even if you are not logged in or have a Facebook account, this is because other applications and websites do not know who is using Facebook.”
To make matters worse, Baser points to other companies, saying it is a very common practice in this sector :
“Many companies offer this type of services, like Facebook, they also get information about apps and websites they use, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn have similar likes and buttons to help people share things in their services. In fact, most websites and apps send the same information to numerous companies every time you visit them. “
Among other things, Facebook collects from non-users your IP address, the operating system and the browser they use, the presence of cookies, etc. The IP address can be used to know the location of that person, while the cookies help to identify if you have visited that website before.
Those who are not users can not see what information Facebook has collected about them , nor can they avoid capturing this information on the websites they visit. The irony of the situation is that they have to create an account to be able to know what information they have about you and how to eliminate it.
Facebook denies the existence of “ghost profiles”
A Facebook spokeswoman has stated that Facebook does not use the information it obtains from non-users to show them specific advertising . It also denies the existence of “ghost profiles”, created from the experience of non-users outside the social network.
The spokesperson says that ” if you are not a Facebook user, we can not identify you based on this information, or use it to know who you are.”
Anyway, the company can use this information to show ads to non-users who ask them to create an account. They also collect information to deliver reports to their partners (apps and websites): for example, the number of people who visit their services.
The thing changes if you are a Facebook user and you access other websites or applications without being logged into the social network. Facebook saves this information to show specific publicity to said users.
In the preferences of Facebook , any user can deactivate that they register their activities outside the social network to show them personalized publicity, but they can not prevent the social network from continuing to monitor their movements in other places.