Saturday, April 6, 2013

Facebook Home isn't where your privacy is

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announces Facebook Home 
at a press event in Menlo Park, Calif., on April 4, 2012.
(Credit: CNET/James Martin) 
CNET - Facebook's latest attempt to get you to spend more time with its services bodes ill for the privacy-minded, but not all hope is lost.
When Mark Zuckerberg and friends debuted Facebook Home yesterday, they downplayed the ever-growing importance your data has for the company. While the Facebook-obsessed may love Home, chances are your privacy won't feel welcome at all.

Facebook has earned a reputation for developing new products and features that are respectful of user privacy, and then slowly, sometimes with great subtlety and sometimes with mastodon-like lumbering, walking those policies back to a decidedly less-respectful state.

There's little indication that Facebook Home will be any different. At the Facebook Home question-and-answer session that followed Thursday's announcement, Zuckerberg said, "Analytics are made anonymous and used for half a percent of the user base." He added that that's the same as Google and Apple, which sounds reasonable, right?

The catch is that the more you share on Facebook, the more Facebook learns about you, and Facebook Home is designed to make you want to share even more.

Privacy and security researcher Ashkan Soltani agrees, and he explained that Facebook Home bridges the gap between passive data collection and active data-creating activities -- such as when you "Like" something in Facebook. "It's in the middle of every interaction on your device,"