Facebook has moved to ease privacy concerns among users by saying that other leading tech companies collect just as much data.
Facebook on Monday pointed the finger at Google, Twitter and Amazon for also using many of the same practices in order to collect data from users.
In a blog post, Facebook described in detail all the ways in which it collects data from its users, even if you are logged out of your account and even if you are not a Facebook member.
Facebook has been at the centre of a privacy scandal after it was revealed that data from 87 million of its users was harvested without their knowledge.
But now Facebook wants you to know that it isn’t the only platform that is collecting data from users as they browse the internet.
“Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn all have similar Like and Share buttons to help people share things on their services,” David Baser, Facebook’s product management director, wrote in a blog post.
“Google has a popular analytics service. And Amazon, Google and Twitter all offer login features.”
“These companies — and many others — also offer advertising services. In fact, most websites and apps send the same information to multiple companies each time you visit them,” he added.
Basser went on to note that Google collects similar data from users when they visit websites, including IP addresses and cookies, and even knows your location and which operating system and web browser you are using.
“When you see a YouTube video on a site that’s not YouTube, it tells your browser to request the video from YouTube. YouTube then sends it to you,” Baser said.
In the blog post, Facebook explained exactly how it tracks users whenever they visit a website.
The firm revealed that whenever you visit a website that has a ‘Like’ or ‘Share’ button or if it has a Facebook plugin installed, your browser send data to Facebook such as your IP address, cookies and location in order to show you certain content or advertisements.
Facebook receives that information regardless of whether you have a Facebook account or not.
While Facebook added that it doesn’t sell the user data it collects, the blog post doesn’t state how long it stores the data for or exactly how it uses the data.
It also doesn’t tell non users how they can opt out of being tracked by Facebook whenever they visit a website.