Facebook published a post on its official blog, last Monday (16), in order to clarify what user data is available even when they are not accessing the social network. The information is sent by other sites and programs that use tools offered by Facebook, such as the option of registering with personal data from the network or using tanning buttons.
We want to take the opportunity to explain more about the information we receive from other sites and applications, what we do with the data you send us and the controls you have (to protect your privacy), explained Director of Product Management David Baser.
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The platform makes four tools available to websites. They are:
- Social Plugin: buttons that allow you to enjoy or share the content of an Internet page directly on the social network;
- Facebook registration: guarantees access or registration in other services from the social platform login data;
- Facebook Analytics: helps websites and apps better understand how people use their services;
- Facebook ads and metrics tools: help the pages to understand the effectiveness of the advertisements posted on Facebook.
When accessing a page or using an application that has these services, the sites provide user data even if they are not logged in or even have an account on the social network, since they do not have the privilege of knowing who is or is not registered on Facebook. According to the publication, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and other platforms also do the same, as they provide content and content sharing tools in the same way.
Facebook gets all the data that the browser informs websites Photo: Photo: Luciana Maline / TechTudo
Facebook basically receives all the data that your browser can provide to the site. That is, when accessing a page that uses any of the tools offered by the social platform, the browser has access to its IP address and the identity of its browser and operating system. The page also obtains cookies, which are identifiers that store the user's preferences.
Baser explains that the website, in turn, provides the following information to the browser: the content and instructions for the browser access request page (and, consequently, all your data on Facebook) to be sent to other companies that provide material or services on the website. In this way, those who use Facebook tools end up sharing with the company of Mark Zuckerberg the same data obtained by him through the browser.
How does Facebook use this data?
According to David Baser, the information obtained by Facebook is used for the following purposes:
- IP address: send the tan button to the browser. It also helps to display it in the user's language (for example: Likes, for those who speak Brazilian Portuguese and Likes for those who use European Portuguese).
- Cookies and device identifiers: determine if the user is logged in, count the number of unique visitors and check whether the person uses Facebook or not (in order to provide aggregated demographic information, such as age and gender, about those who use the app).
- Browser and operating system information: provide developers with information about the platforms used to access their applications.
The Director of Product Management further explains that the data is also used to improve the content and advertising displayed for each user. In addition, another reason would be to ensure the safety of Facebook, helping to identify malicious apps.
How do I protect my data?
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Facebook offers tools that allow you to choose how this data is used to provide the most relevant content and advertisements. For this, it is possible to edit the Preferences of the News Feed and the displayed advertisements, removing those that you do not want to view.
The user can select to never see advertisements based on information received through other websites and applications. Finally, another option is to choose not to view ads on websites based on your Facebook preferences.