Facebook’s Definition of Privacy: Tracking Everything You Do

The Associated Press
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Facebook’s new private messaging app requests 24/7 access to users’ location, battery, workout data, and more, demonstrating that Mark Zuckerberg and the Masters of the Universe have a very different definition of privacy than their users.

Business Insider reports that Facebook’s newest messaging app, Threads, is designed to be used as a private messaging app only for a user’s closest friends. But, the app requests a massive amount of user data in order to operate. The app was announced on Thursday as a companion messaging app to image-sharing platform Instagram and lets you send messages and status updates only to people that have been designed as “Close Friends” on the platform.

However, Threads asks for a significant amount of data from users showing that Facebook’s desire to collect as much personal information as possible has not been deterred by its numerous privacy scandals in recent months. Business Insider found that Facebook’s new Threads app requests:

  • Continuous access to your location
  • Your movement and fitness activity
  • Your battery level
  • Whether you’re connected to WiFi or mobile data or not
  • Your closest friends, per your Instagram “Closest Friends” list

If given access, Threads can collect a large amount of personal data that could be used to form an in-depth profile of users. It is unclear if such information could be used to inform Facebook’s ad-targeting system. Facebook has attempted to rebrand itself as a “privacy-focused” firm following its many data scandals such as the Cambridge Analytica scandal which left 80 million of the platform users’ personal data vulnerable.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently defended the company’s plans to encrypt its messaging services, making it so that the company would not have access to user’s chat logs. But now, the United States, Britain, and Australia have signed an open letter requesting that the firm suspend these plans as it could have a negative effect on the fight against child exploitation and terrorism.

Speaking on a livestream during the company’s weekly internal Q&A session, Zuckerberg announced he was aware this could be an issue and acknowledged that encryption would reduce the number of tools available to fight the problem. Zuckerberg stated: “When we were deciding whether to go to end-to-end encryption across the different apps, this was one of the things that just weighed the most heavily on me.”

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently defended the company’s plans to encrypt its messaging services, making it so that the company would not have access to user’s chat logs. But now, the United States, Britain, and Australia have signed an open letter requesting that the firm suspend these plans as it could have a negative effect on the fight against child exploitation and terrorism.

Speaking on a livestream during the company’s weekly internal Q&A session, Zuckerberg announced he was aware this could be an issue and acknowledged that encryption would reduce the number of tools available to fight the problem. Zuckerberg stated: “When we were deciding whether to go to end-to-end encryption across the different apps, this was one of the things that just weighed the most heavily on me.”

Users that want to try Facebook’s new Threads app without providing that much information to the firm can do so, but it will undermine of the apps key features called “auto-status” which automatically tells friends what you’re up to by detecting movement and activity. The app will state “at the gym” when it detects a user is working out or ” at the beach” when a user is located close to the ocean.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or email him at lnolan@breitbart.com

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