The fact Facebook tracks users is no secret. Recently it was revealed that it even tracks people who do not have a Facebook account.
Each time you have visited a website that has a Facebook Like button or one of its tracking pixels embedded, it is tracking you whether you have a Facebook account or not.
But now the social media giant has released a new 229 page document that contains details on all the different ways Facebook collects data from people.
The document contains all the answers CEO Mark Zuckerberg gave to US Congress last month in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
While some of the details aren’t that surprising – most of us know or could guess that it tracks things like your location, time zone and what device you use, some of the other revelations on the data it collects are pretty staggering.
For example, Facebook admits that it tracks the movement of your mouse and has the ability to monitor near you or that are connected to the same network, such as smart TVs.
“We collect information from and about the computers, phones, connected TVs and other web-connected devices users use that integrate with our Products, and we combine this information across different devices users use,” Facebook said.
It added that it collected the information in order to “give better personalize the content (including ads), to measure whether they took an action in response to an ad we showed them on their phone”.
Other data Facebook admits to collecting is information about operating systems, signal strength and battery levels.
The document released this week further sheds light on the vast amount of data Facebook collects on its users.
It also reveals that about the only piece of data Facebook doesn’t collect from users is audio.
However, a cyber security expert recently claimed that the practice of tech firms collecting audio from users is already widespread, which is something that Facebook has always denied.
Summary: Here are the staggering ways Facebook collects your data
Facebook says it tracks the movement of your mouse in order to determine if you are a bot or human
Facebook collects lots of data from your computer smartphone or tablet, including signal strength, available storage and battery level.
It also knows your operating system, browser, file names and what plugins are enabled.
Facebook knows your mobile operator or internet service provider, connection speed, cookie data and IP address.
It sometimes tracks nearby devices or devices logged onto the same network, such as smart TVs.
Bluetooth and Wifi connections are also monitored and it also knows the location of nearby “cell towers”.
Call logs and location data
The call and SMS history are logged for Android users and also tracks your GPS location, photos and camera information, if you haven’t updated the settings on your phone.
Third party data
If you have ever bought something through Facebook, that data is collected too, as is any information given away in games or apps used through the social network.