Facebook Admits That Portal WILL Collect Data To Serve Up Ads

Last week I posted a story on Portal which is a smart speaker from Facebook. At the time I said this:

Sounds great right? What could go wrong? Well, this is Facebook we are talking about who can’t be trusted with your data. Why let them see into your home? After all, that sounds like a horrible idea. 

However Recode is reporting that well they are collecting data to serve up ads:

Last Monday, we wrote: “No data collected through Portal — even call log data or app usage data, like the fact that you listened to Spotify — will be used to target users with ads on Facebook.” We wrote that because that’s what we were told by Facebook executives.

But the company has since reached out to change its answer: Facebook Portal doesn’t have ads, but data about who you call and data about which apps you use on Portal can be used to target you with ads on other Facebook-owned properties.

“Portal voice calling is built on the Messenger infrastructure, so when you make a video call on Portal, we collect the same types of information (i.e. usage data such as length of calls, frequency of calls) that we collect on other Messenger-enabled devices. We may use this information to inform the ads we show you across our platforms. Other general usage data, such as aggregate usage of apps, etc., may also feed into the information that we use to serve ads,” a spokesperson said in an email to Recode.

At least they corrected the record. But this illustrates why you cannot trust Facebook. It also illustrates why these devices should go nowhere near your home. You’d think that with the issues that this company have had over the last year or so that they would have got their act together prior to the launch of these devices. But clearly not.

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