Facebook Inc (FB) has started collecting information of users’ activities outside the platform such as the links they visit, etc.
Until now, Facebook studied only the details shared by people in their profiles such as the school they attended, their interests, the location where they live, and more. However, the social network’s new policy expands the study area to activities outside its own platform.
Most users unaware of this Facebook (FB) change
A Facebook spokesman confirmed, “It takes into account pages and places visited on Facebook, alongside browsing on the internet at large.”
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The information of the users is collected through cookies that are small files on a web browser or device which gather information that can be transferred to Facebook (NASDAQ:FB). Still, most users do not know that this change will automatically seep into their accounts, says the report.
Privacy advocates not in favor
Privacy advocates are not in favor of this move, suggesting that it will compromise the online privacy of users. Labor MP Helen Goodman told the Daily Mail that it is “absolutely typical of Facebook” to keep profits above the interests of its users.
She said Facebook is clearly giving more weight to its own interests rather than taking the side of consumers. Goodman said the social networking company is taking a substantial step ahead in terms of the amount of information it collects, which is a very unusual and concerning step.
Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) should be more transparent on its policies and the way it uses data, John Hemming, Democrat MP, told the Daily Mail. Hemming added that if Facebook has made some changes in its policy, then it should inform users. Hemming also said he has been using the Facebook since Friday and nothing was communicated to him.
Renate Samson, chief executive of privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch, also told the Daily Mail that this privacy change was not conveyed to users of Facebook (NASDAQ:FB). It is important that companies inform users and get their consent before making any amendments to their privacy policies.