Facebook Answers Privacy Questions About Home

When Facebook announced Home, a heavily integrated mobile platform for Android phones, many people were worried that it represented just another invasion of privacy by the social network. While Facebook will become a bigger part of users’ mobile experiences, the company swears that Home does not take any more information than its native application or the desktop version of the site. Facebook’s Michael Richter (chief privacy officer) and Erin Egan (chief privacy officer of policy) attempted to address users’ concerns in a recent blog post.

Richter and Egan answered some commonly asked questions Friday.

Q: What information does Home collect?

A: Like other parts of Facebook, Home collects information when you interact with the service, such as liking or commenting on a post or sending a message. Home also may collect other information about how you use it. For example, Facebook maintains a list of the apps that you have in the Home app launcher. We store this information in identifiable form for 90 days and use it to provide the service and improve how it works.

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.

Q: Does Home collect information about what I do in non-Facebook applications?

A: No. 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. This kind of integration existed long before we launched Home, and apps that have it will tell you if it is available.

To view the full blog post click here.

Readers: What questions do you have about Facebook Home?

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