1 title: Facebook Defends Universal Data Collection 2 author: Daniel Moch 3 copyright: 2018, Daniel Moch 4 date: 2018-04-18 05:30:14 UTC-04:00 5 category: security 6 description: Facebook resorts to finger-pointing to defend collecting data on non-users 7 8 Since June of last year, Facebook has been publishing a series called 9 Hard Questions. In the latest installment in that series, David Baser, 10 Facebook's Product Management Director, gives some details about what 11 kind of data Facebook collects on you even if you don't have a Facebook 12 account. David acknowledges that his post is partly a response to a 13 question Congress posed to Mark Zuckerberg last week, which puts him a 14 bit on the defensive with regard to the fact of this type of data 15 collection. To wit, why does Facebook do something as arguably intrusive 16 as collect data on folks who have no other relationship to the site? 17 18 That question remains implied, but David's answer to it does not. Here's 19 what he says, in part: 20 21 > When you visit a site or app that uses our services, we receive 22 > information even if you’re logged out or don’t have a Facebook 23 > account. This is because other apps and sites don’t know who is 24 > using Facebook. 25 > 26 > Many companies offer these types of services and, like Facebook, they 27 > also get information from the apps and sites that use them. Twitter, 28 > Pinterest and LinkedIn all have similar Like and Share buttons to 29 > help people share things on their services. Google has a popular 30 > analytics service. And Amazon, Google and Twitter all offer login 31 > features. These companies—and many others—also offer 32 > advertising services. In fact, most websites and apps send the same 33 > information to multiple companies each time you visit them. 34 35 So there you have it. Facebook collects data on everyone, because 36 everyone else is doing it. It comes off a bit like a child responding to 37 a scolding ("And what would you do if Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google 38 all jumped off a bridge?"), but it's also not completely uninformative. 39 We know all of these companies are doing this, but this type of defense 40 can lead in one of two directions: either the practice is okay and 41 everyone can continue to collect this kind of data, or it isn't okay and 42 the whole system needs to change, possibly through some kind of 43 industry-wide regulation. 44 45 Facebook's defense of its data collection practices has just called the 46 question on how American society will respond to it.