Mark Zuckerberg’s hearing before Congress was disappointing at the very least, as he did not provide any direct answers concerning Facebook’s policies. Even though he frequently promised follow-ups, he failed to do so, leaving many questions unanswered. Yet, the company published an enormous 452 page document to cover the CEO’s testimony ambiguities.
Specifically, Facebook said that the data collected come from users that explicitly provide access to their personal information, including sensitive topics such as nationality, religious and political beliefs. It also considers the user’s contacts, usage statistics, purchases completed through the service and the interactions that directly concern them ( i.e. posting comments on photos).
Additionally, the company’s policies allow third party developers sharing data outside Facebook, since they are allowed gathering and sharing those data legally. For instance, a game developer could inform Facebook about the games that a user plays. Moreover, Facebook gathers information about devices such as its apps behaviour, tech specifications and the signal’s strength.
All these have a more practical objective, like the prevention of bots or video streaming on your TV. Despite the many answers that Facebook gave, Congress and EU still have their worries regarding Facebook’s policies and practices. Still, at least the company shed light on some of the most important topics that were first addressed on April.