Since Facebook launched the Android experience ‘Home’ last week, a number of privacy concerns have arisen. What will Facebook see? Will they be able to access apps? Can personal messages be seen by Facebook? Well, Facebook has released a detailed Q & A on privacy, and the initial look is quite favorable for users who don’t want to divulge their entire life to the social network.
From a data analyzation and collection standpoint, Home has the potential to see and track nearly all communication; but, thankfully, it won’t. Home will see how and when users interact with apps — but not the content involved. Facebook officially states the following on this point:
For devices that come with Home preinstalled, Home can display system notifications, meaning that it will show notifications from apps on your phone. Since these notifications appear in Home, Facebook collects information about the notification (such as which app is generating them) but not the content of the notification itself. We remove identifying information from this data after 90 days.
While that covers the messages sent from phones with Home loaded, another theme within the privacy outcries was what will happen with the information transmitted in-app. Facebook makes it clear that this is also hands off. The only information that Facebook will view is when the app was used, not how it was used. They state:
Home will only see how you interact with Home itself. For example, Facebook could see that you launched a map application using the app launcher, but Facebook would not receive information about what directions you searched for or any other activity within the app itself. Of course, some apps already are Facebook-enabled so that you can share your activity within the app back to Facebook.
From a location standpoint, Home won’t save any additional data than the standard Facebook app. Of course, the location information can be controlled from any user’s Android settings.
For more see the full Q & A on Facebook.