Zuckerberg: Facebook Collects Your Data Even If You’re Not A Facebook User

Mark Zuckerberg Testimony Capitol Hill
Image: AP

The second day of Zuckerberg’s mega roast wasn’t easy for him. Facebook CEO may have scored some sympathy votes by revealing that his data was also compromised in the Cambridge Analytica Scandal, but there were some hard questions as well.

One of them was about Facebook’s data collection from people who never created a Facebook account, never signed a consent or privacy agreement.

Earlier this year, a Belgium court ruled that Facebook’s tracking of non-users with the help of social plugins and cookies breaks privacy laws.

New Mexico’s representative Ben Ray Lujan asked Zuckerberg if Facebook maintains a detailed profile of people who never signed up for Facebook.

Zuckerberg didn’t say yes but explained that some data related to non-Facebook users is collected for security reasons and to prevent mass scrapping of user data on the platform.

Recently, it was known that an issue in Facebook’s search engine allowed anyone to scrap publicly available information of over 2 billion Facebook users.

Lujan also asked Zuckerberg how many data points they have on Facebook and non-Facebook users. The CEO replied that he doesn’t know.

When asked that the term “shadow profiles” is used to refer profiles of non-Facebook users, Zuckerberg said he is not familiar with that.

So, how can a non-Facebook user opt-out of the data collection?

“Congressman, anyone can turn off and opt out of any data collection for ads, whether they use our services or not,” Zuckerberg said.

“But, in order to prevent people from scraping public information… We need to know when someone is trying to repeatedly access our services.”

This makes a hard blow to the privacy claims made by Facebook. And the already undermined statement that users own and control their data sounds no more than a bad joke.

Facebook does have a support page titled,”I don’t have a Facebook account and would like to request all personal data stored by Facebook.”

After clicking the form link present on the page, the user is asked to visit Account Settings and download their data. Unfortunately, this is only possible if you have a Facebook account.

The user can click ” This doesn’t answer my question” and then “I don’t have a Facebook account” radio button. It then asks you to send an email to [email protected].

Also Read: Zuckerberg’s Congress Testimony Inspires Hilarious Memes On Internet

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