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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Facebook confirms that it follows the way you move the mouse on the computer screen


The Cambridge Analytica case led Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to several legislative institutions to testify about his company's privacy practices. Among these institutions, there is the US Congress that submitted Zuckerberg 10h interrogation to understand the policy of use of user data. This is how legislators have raised several concerns that Facebook's boss has promised to answer from where this testimony of 500 pages published on Monday.
In the document, where Facebook responds to a set of 2000 questions from the US Senate Committee, the number one social network has admitted that it has collected information about computers, phones and connected devices and even the mouse, whose users are serve to use its various services. This information is then combined to give users personalized content.
Facebook said it follows mouse movements to help its algorithm distinguish humans from robots. Tracking mouse movements also helps the social network determine whether the window is in the foreground or background.

"We collect information about computers, phones, connected TVs and other Internet-connected devices that integrate with our products, and we combine this information with different devices that users use," Facebook said in the document, adding that the information collected is used to "better personalize the content (including advertisements) as well as to measure whether they have taken action in response to an advertisement we have shown them on their phone".

The social networking platform also admitted that it collects information about operating systems, hardware, software versions, battery levels, signal strength, available storage space, Bluetooth signals, file names and types, device identifiers, browsers and extensions installed on users' device browsers (phones, smart TVs, etc.).

The company also admitted to collecting information about the sex reported by users, users removed from their friends list, and all ads that the user clicked.

It is interesting to note that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg at a congressional hearing on the sidelines of the Cambridge Analytica scandal said the app does not use microphones to spy on its users. However, a patent held by the company indicates that the Facebook application uses a speech recognition algorithm, which uses the audio recorded by the microphones, to change the ranking scores of the stories in the news feeds of users.

While the document published by Facebook may be in agreement with Zuckerberg's testimony in April, it highlights the extent of the review of the data that Facebook users, as well as the people in their friends list, are submitted. It also shows the methods deployed by the company to keep track of its users and their activity.

Facebook confirmed the previous week that phone manufacturers such as Samsung, Apple, HTC and Huawei were using user data as part of a data sharing agreement. It defends, moreover, the cause of its partners to, only, use this data to improve the user experience on terminals like smartphones. But experts in privacy do not agree. They say that users may not have been fully aware of the situation.

Another scandal recognized by Facebook concerns 14 million of its users. The company claims that these users would be the victims of a problem that put the default settings for all new public messages, even if users had indicated that they wanted their updates to be private.

Another controversial revelation of the company, that it has given access to user friend data to major brands such as Nissan automaker is reported by The Washington Post.

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