Facebook Addresses Facebook Home Privacy Concerns
It seems that each time Facebook redesigns its News Feed, an entire swath of the Internet comes out and swears that they’ll never use Facebook again. But then, active users just increase more and more. But with Facebook Home, it’s a little different. Analysts and users alike have been asking Facebook for more clarity on what Home means for privacy — particularly for those who go with an HTC First, where there’s really no avoiding the Facebook connection.
Now Facebook has posted a Q&A on its website about the privacy implications of its new Facebook Home software for Android phones, though it was unclear if it has addressed all the concerns raised.
In a blog post Friday, the company said it had received “a few questions about how Home works with privacy.” It then posed several questions to itself about Home and privacy and answered them.
Home is essentially a software wrapper for Android smartphones that modifies the home screen, among other things, to put Facebook photos and messages front and center. It was announced on Thursday.
First of all, Facebook notes, Home is a completely optional experience. People have to install it to use it and they continue to use the regular Facebook app if they don’t like or want Home. That’s probably going to stay true for the mid-term future at least.
They can also uninstall Home or disable individual features. For example, Facebook says Home can be turned off in the “Home Settings.”
It’s unclear whether that means all “Home” features will be disabled leaving you with the core Facebook app functionality without actually uninstalling Home or whether this disables things like the Cover feed on the homescreen and that’s it.
The data use policy states that the data Facebook collects can include Internet Protocol addresses and a user’s location. “For example, we may get your GPS or other location information so we can tell you if any of your friends are nearby.”
It was not clear from Facebook’s post whether Home collects location data any more frequently than does the Facebook mobile app, and Facebook didn’t immediately respond to a question about that sent late on Friday.
Facebook has riled users in the past with respect to their privacy. Last year it settled a class-action lawsuit over a feature called Sponsored Stories, which used people’s photographs to suggest that they were endorsing companies’ products.