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Facebook Home: what about my privacy?

Discussion in 'Domain Name News' started by Acorn Newsbot, Apr 17, 2013.

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  1. Acorn Newsbot

    Acorn Newsbot Junior Member

    Jan 2006
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    Home, the latest offering from the social network giant Facebook, is now available in the US and is expected to launch in other regions in the coming year. It’s being billed as an exciting way to turn an Android handset into a ‘living, social’ phone. But what about privacy on Facebook Home?

    An introduction to Facebook Home

    Home is a clever software add-on for Android phones that modifies phones’ home screens to give Facebook content priority. It works with the Facebook for Android and Facebook Messenger apps.

    Instead of the usual mobile ‘lock’ or ‘home’ screen, Home delivers Facebook content and notifications direct to your mobile.*

    •*Cover feed – For keeping up to date at-a-glance, on the go, any time, anywhere.
    •*Chat heads – These let you chat with friends even when you’re checking your email, surfing the web or listening to your favourite tunes. Whenever someone sends a message, a chat head appears with your friend's face, so you can see who you’re interacting with. Because SMS is integrated with Facebook Messenger for Android, chat heads include Facebook messages as well as regular texts.
    •*Notifications - Cover feed covers everything, but if someone posts on your timeline you’ll get a notification, which you just tap to open, along with the poster’s profile picture. If you’re too busy to handle notifications, you can swipe your screen to hide them until you’re ready.
    •*Apps – Home lets you access all your usual apps. Just swipe to reveal your favourites in the launcher or visit the app screen, dragging favourites to the Home launcher.

    About Facebook Home privacy and data security

    Facebook Home collects information about user interaction, for example when someone likes or comments on a status update or shared item. It can actually tell when you launch another app on your phone, but can’t ‘see’ what you do once you’re inside the app.

    Some experts are critical of the network’s privacy options, even going so far as saying it destroys the notion of privacy. The way Home can probably access a phone's GPS and send information about user location, for example, could be seen as worrying. How come? Security Central says that Facebook could use your daily movement pattern and location data to determine your home location.

    Facebook itself says it doesn’t use location information any differently from the Facebook app on current Android phones, which you could see as either encouraging or discouraging, depending on your world view! Their data policy says they collect your IP address and user location, apparently so they can ‘tell you if any of your friends are nearby’. But it’s still unclear whether or not Home collects location data more often than the current app.

    Just like the rest of Facebook, Home collects data whenever you interact, which means ‘liking’, commenting, sending messages and so on. But it might also gather information about how you use the service, for example maintaining a list of your favourite apps, which they store for 90 days to help them ‘provide the service and improve how it works’.

    If you buy a phone with Home pre-installed, the system can display notifications from apps. It knows which app is generating the notifications but it can’t actually see the content of the notification. And identifying data is removed after 90 days.

    Home can’t collect information about what you do in non-Facebook applications. For example, while it can ‘see’ when you launch a map via the app launcher, it can’t collect information about what you do inside the app itself… unless, of course, you’re using a Facebook-enabled app designed to facilitate sharing. Luckily, apps will let you know if so.**

    Facebook Home security issues and settings to be aware of

    As a general rule it’s best to find out everything you can about security and privacy before accepting any service or app, no matter who created it. Your first port of call to find out how Home data is used is the network’s Data Use Policy, which you should look at before activating the service. And there’s more information in Facebook’s Home FAQ area.

    Changing Facebook Home Settings

    •*The easiest way to remove Facebook Home is to open the app drawer and select “Home Settings”, then tap “Turn Off Facebook Home”.

    •*You can also prevent it from replacing your phone’s lock screen if you like, also via the settings.

    •*If you want to turn off Home’s location service you can refuse permission in the Location and Security Settings menu.

    Facebook Home launched on 12th April 2013 and there are a number of bugs that Facebook is attempting to fix post launch. This latest blog from Internet Security provider Sophos discusses some of the current security issues. For more information on staying safe when using Facebook, whether on your laptop or mobile, visit our Facebook knowledge centre.

  2. Domain Forum

    Acorn Domains Elite Member

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  3. tifosi United Kingdom

    tifosi Well-Known Member

    Oct 2004
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    Thanks RSS you're my most favouritest member on here ever!! I luv you! :p
  4. lufc United Kingdom

    lufc Active Member

    Dec 2006
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    Your wasting your time, he never answers back or replies to pm's;)
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