With the announcement of the new Facebook Home for Android, some questions have been raised with regards to security and privacy issues surrounding the “people first” approach to Home. The fact that the new Cover Feed pulls status updates and photos of a user’s Facebook friends right on their lock screens is sure to raise an eyebrow or two as to how much information is taken and stored by Facebook? Fortunately, the company has responded with a brief FAQ about Home, and here’s what you need to know about Facebook Home’s privacy policies.
The main consideration Facebook is putting across is that Home is essentially a custom Android launcher, similar in nature to other launchers such as Nova Launcher. Therefore, users can easily turn the Home launcher off – and can even tweak the launcher’s settings to not appear as their default lock screen.
More importantly, Home does not collect any additional information other than what it already collects on the Facebook app for Android, such as location settings. On the other hand, Home “maintains a list” of that users have on their app launcher, and is identifiable for 90 days. Also, Home is also able to see what a user does on their device with regards to app launches – but is not able to see what the user does on the app itself. For example, Home can see that a user has opened the Maps app, but will not know what the user does within the app itself.
The company reiterates that the data collected from Facebook Home users are covered by Facebook’s original Data Use Policy, and that installing Home” doesn’t change anything related to (a user’s) privacy settings on Facebook, and (their) privacy controls work the same with Home as they do everywhere else on Facebook”.