Less Privacy at Facebook Home

Facebook Home is great for advertisers, but may not be for those who want privacy.

Facebook Home, the social network's new Android app that acts a skin on your smartphone, could make use easier but it's also making your information easier to collect.

While it can give users a convenient way to use the social network on a mobile phone, it's also a "powerful too for Facebook to potentially collect information about a person," according to CNN. Facebook makes its money on selling ads and this is great way to target them. (If you doubt this, check out Adweek's piece about how Facebook Home is great for collecting ad data.)

While Facebook said it would not use GPS tracking to locate users, it could easily do so. It also now has access to phone numbers, your address book and likely any other information stored on your phone. It could "paint a very clear picture of your private life," according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

GPS-tracking also helps sell all those ads for nearby stores or restaurants, so while Facebook said it won't use that for individuals -- it still kinda will. Facebook Home will also have access to text messages, something it didn't have before. Facebook also now has an idea of what other apps appear on your phone and store that information.

Krishna Subramanian, chief marketing officer of mobile advertising and marketing agency Velti, told Adweek that Facebook Home was a great opportunity. "By having Facebook interactions—chat, message, status updates, photos, location check-ins—that are all highly personal at the center of the operating system, marketers can know the audience more than they ever have before," he said.

People had privacy concerns about Facebook for years, but it didn't stop the social media behemoth from reaching 1 billion users. True, there have been reports about Facebook fatigue, but even those taking a break from the social network still check in occasionally. Our belief is that if you value your privacy, you will keep Facebook to its original place as an app on your phone or laptop. Using Facebook Home is like giving the company keys to your house.
Many of the Facebook faithful may have resigned themselves to the idea that what they do on the site is tracked -- a fair enough exchange for a free service that keeps them in contact with friends, family and people they sort of knew in middle school.
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