Facebook is at it again, the social media giant is accused of collecting and sharing personal data of its users, without their knowledge, with hundreds of telecom companies around the world, according to a confidential Facebook document reviewed and reported by The Intercept.
Of late, there has been no end to the Facebook's crisis rising from numerous data and privacy scandals around the world, especially when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is busy laying out the company's so-called "privacy vision" to recover from an already massive hit to Facebook's reputation and trust among the users.
The Intercept investigation certainly leads Facebook into an awkward situation as it also claims that Facebook itself pulls surveillance data from users' smartphone.
The set of data includes technical information about your devices, in addition to your use of Wi-Fi and cellular networks, your location history, interests and social groups. The data is sourced from the main Facebook app for Android and iOS, as well as Instagram and Messenger, according to The Intercept.
The investigation suggests that data of this magnitude could be beneficial for so many businesses worldwide including telecom companies and it also reveals that Facebook partners left no stone unturned in tracking their competitors using this data and racially targeted ads.
This could be alarming given the surveillance powers enjoyed by cell phone carriers. But AT&T is transparent about its data collection practices pertaining to the information about websites you visit and smartphone apps you use on your networks.
Last year, Facebook announced a new program that it said was aimed at solving patchy cellular data connections around the world. The blog post also briefly mentioned Actionable Insights for "enabling better business decisions" courtesy of "analytics tools."
As per the report citing the confidential Facebook document and source, the real purpose behind Actionable Insights is to help Facebook Partners use your personal data for free of cost to earn more targetted advertising business.
A Facebook spokesperson told The Intercept that Actionable Insights doesn’t collect any data from user devices and it only collects data that was already being collected anyway.
Last year, Facebook came under fire after a bombshell report discovered how Facebook allowed over 150 companies, including Netflix, Spotify and Bing, to access user data including private messages.
This news comes after Facebook-owned Instagram is also in the midst of dealing with its own privacy-related issue. A social media influencer marketing agency Chtrbox has managed to out the private data of nearly 5 crores Instagram users, mainly influencers, celebrities and brands accounts. And it is likely that the leaked information of Instagram users could have come from Facebook.