Looking at Facebook 'Home' privacy concerns

9:09 PM, Apr 23, 2013   |    comments
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FACEBOOK Home for Android

A little over a week ago, Facebook released "Home" a system that basically turns your Android phone into a Facebook phone. Ever since it came out there have been some questions about a users privacy while having Facebook integrated into all the other functions of the phone.

207's Social Media Reporter, Brett Whitmarsh, explains more:

Let's start with the idea of what Facebook calls "Home" what is it exactly?

It's what Android users call a skin. Skins sort of sit on top of the operating system of your device. You can unload or delete a skin and go back to your usual operating system at any point. This service from Facebook allows you to always have Facebook on. So when you just look at your phone you can get messages or updates right away. Unlike before when you'd have to unlock your phone and then launch the app and go looking for what you want. As of this weekend it's been downloaded around 500,000 times. Facebook had hoped for more and the reviews have been underwhelming in the Android app store.

Who is their target audience for this?

It's someone who uses Facebook a lot - more than anything else on the Internet and certainly more as their only social network. This is someone who really only has a smartphone or mobile device because of Facebook.

So you say there are some privacy concerns to be aware of before diving into "Home"

One issue Facebook has said they are working on is the lock screen and the pin code. So many of us have a pin to access our phone when the phone locks. On at least one of the Android phones the Facebook "home" disables the pin locking ability. Which opens both your Facebook account and your phone to a number security issues.

What about ads on "Home"

They haven't started yet, but many people think it's inevitable. Facebook makes a good bit of money off of those ads, so there is some thought in the tech world that the adds would eventually become part of your phone more than they are when you just launch the app.

Does Facebook track the data you use with other apps on your phone?

It does have the option to track your location, they say can be turned of in the settings, But after that "home" has the ability to see when you launch other apps, but not collect data about what you do within those apps. So the example Facebook gave was, they could see you launch the maps app, but not see the information you enter.

They stress the only data they collect from "home" is related to how you are directly using Facebook. They claim to then only store it for 90 days and then erase it.

You say users also need to pay more attention to their data plans with Facebook "Home"

Yes, because facebook is especially always on... users need to be more aware that they could be using more of their data. The updates could be loading from Facebook and while you're out and about your phone could constantly be pulling in that info. So if you use "home" pay close attention to how much data you are using. Remember, Facebook is really never off now. Facebook hasn't really given too much of a clear answer about this. It's going to take a billing cycle for customers to find that out.

Fore more on Facebook Home:

https://www.facebook.com/home#home

 

 

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