Facebook finally has the answers to the questions posed by the Congress before its CEO Mark Zuckerberg. That at least is what is being made of the official written response that Zuckerberg and Co. submitted to the Congress and which spans a huge 452 pages.
That no doubt is a lot of text to go through though unfortunately from those who have, this is in no way a truly comprehensive answer to all the queries that many, including the Congressional committee, have asked the social media giant. Also, much of it isn’t of more importance than just filling material that perhaps is used to make the response look more comprehensive than it really is.
Nonetheless, it does provide a hindsight of what the company is up to post the several data leak scandal it faced off late. As such, the response provides us with an idea of the sort of data it collects from users who have consented to it. That again is provided some additional layers of protection in countries where local laws have their own regulations regarding stuff like political inclination, religion or ethnic status of the user.
Among the other info that Facebook collects include the contact list of the users, together with the SMS history if users have opted for the same. Further, usage statistics or purchase details made via the site too gets collected by the social media company. That is not all of course as quite a few hardware details too are picked up. Those again include the device ID, storage characteristics, signal strength and so on that are also deposited at Facebook.
The written response also revealed Facebook is getting to know how the site is being accessed, with info like whether the window is in the foreground or otherwise is also picked up. The same applies to the movement of the mouse as well.
However, while the above are more of a general type of info that Facebook said it collects from the user, the more contentious topics have however been touched upon broadly with not much depth to it. That includes the sort of access that third-party apps have to user info and how the policies governing it can help prevent another Cambridge Analytica sort of scandal.
In fact, the above along with so much more can be the basis of more questions being directed at Facebook. Maybe this could also be the starting of a series of interactions that the users might have with Facebook until it becomes clear the company is only collecting the sort of info that the users won’t mind sharing.
Check out Zuckerberg Responses to Commerce Committee QFRs1 and Zuckerberg Responses to Judiciary Committee QFRs.