Facebook is not telling you everything

By Staff reporter | 02 Mar 2020 at 12:33hrs
Facebook has taken a number of steps to improve its data transparency, giving users more insight into how it stores and uses customer data.

The "Download Your Information" feature was launched in 2018 after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, allowing users to download all the information which Facebook collects about them and see how it used in the company's advertising.

According to a recent report by Privacy International, however, this information is inaccurate and incomplete.

Privacy International tested the feature to download all advertising and business-related information and found that the list is incomplete and changes over time.

"Unfortunately for the users, how this tool is exactly used to exploit their data is obscure and opaque," the report stated.

"Facebook's ‘Download Your Information' tool is supposed to let you see the companies that uploaded a list containing your data from the moment you created your account."

"Yet, after testing this feature at different points in time, we found out that it is not the case," it said.
GDPR and Off-Facebook activity

The lack of transparency provided by the "Download Your Information" tool prevents users from exercising their rights under GDPR, the report stated, as there is no way for users to identify all the companies which upload a list with their data to Facebook.

Facebook also recently announced the launch of its Off-Facebook activity feature, which enables users to control the data that other apps and websites share with Facebook.

Privacy International stated that this tool also offers limited insight into Facebook's data usage and few ways for users to control their exposure.

This is due to the information provided about companies being limited to company names and basic classifications of how data is collected.

Facebook recently agreed to pay a $550-million settlement to avert a trial over how the company collected biometric user data without consent.

This was one of the biggest consumer privacy settlements in history, outlining the major problems the company is facing with user data collection.



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