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Facebook

Facebook, Inc. is the world's largest online social network and has undergone several privacy scandals.


Handling

Does the policy allow personally-targeted or behavioral marketing? Yes

0/10

Decided Aug. 28, 2019 (revision history). This question accounts for 12% of the final score.

Possible Options

Yes0/10
Yes, but you can opt-out3.5/10
Yes, but you must opt-in7/10
No10/10

Citation

"To create personalized Products that are unique and relevant to you, we use your connections, preferences, interests and activities based on the data we collect and learn from you and others (including any data with special protections you choose to provide); how you use and interact with our Products; and the people, places, or things you're connected to and interested in on and off our Products."

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Does the service allow third-party access to private personal data? Yes, not all parties specified

0/10

Decided Aug. 28, 2019 (revision history). This question accounts for 12% of the final score.

The policy allows sharing personal data with third-parties (not just critical service providers), and does not explicitly list the third-parties.

This may come in the form of outright data sharing or by using local third-party analytics software (such as Google Analytics, which collects a plethora of user information).

Note that whether the policy allows sharing aggregated user data does not affect this question.

If the personal data is encrypted when it passes through the third-party, it does not count as third-party access (as the data is inaccessible to that party).

If personal data has been made public by, for example, posting it to a blog, it does not count as private personal information (and is therefore not considered by this question).

Possible Options

Yes, not all parties specified0/10
Yes, all parties specified (including non-critical service providers such as advertisers)3/10
Yes, not all parties specified (but only to critical service providers)7/10
Yes, all parties specified (only to critical service providers)8/10
No10/10

Citation

"We work with third-party partners who help us provide and improve our Products or who use Facebook Business Tools to grow their businesses, which makes it possible to operate our companies and provide free services to people around the world. We don't sell any of your information to anyone, and we never will. We also impose strict restrictions on how our partners can use and disclose the data we provide."

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Does the service allow you to permanently delete your personal data? Yes, using an automated mechanism

5/5

Decided Aug. 28, 2019 (revision history). This question accounts for 6% of the final score.

Even if there is a reasonable delay before the data is fully deleted (as is common), the data still counts as "permanently deleted" and satisfies the parameters for this question.

Possible Options

No0/5
Yes, by contacting someone3/5
Yes, using an automated mechanism5/5
N/A (no personal information collected)5/5

Citation

We provide you with the ability to access, rectify, port and erase your data.

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When does the policy allow law enforcement access to personal data? When reasonably requested

3/5

Decided Aug. 28, 2019 (revision history). This question accounts for 6% of the final score.

Possible Options

Always0/5
Not specified0/5
When reasonably requested3/5
Only when required by a court order or subpoena4/5
N/A (no personal data to share)5/5
Never (special legal jurisdiction)5/5

Citation

"In response to a legal request (like a search warrant, court order or subpoena) if we have a good faith belief that the law requires us to do so. This may include responding to legal requests from jurisdictions outside of the United States when we have a good-faith belief that the response is required by law in that jurisdiction, affects users in that jurisdiction, and is consistent with internationally recognized standards."

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Collection

Does the policy list the personal data it collects? Yes, generally

7/10

Decided Aug. 28, 2019 (revision history). This question accounts for 12% of the final score.

All general categories of collected personal data are listed, though not all types of personal data are explicitly mentioned (for example, the list might use a phrase like 'such as' when listing types of personal data).

Possible Options

No0/10
Only summarily3/10
Yes, generally7/10
Yes, exhaustively10/10
N/A (no personal information is collected)10/10

Citation

"Device operations: information about operations and behaviors performed on the device, such as whether a window is foregrounded or backgrounded, or mouse movements (which can help distinguish humans from bots)."

"Identifiers: unique identifiers, device IDs, and other identifiers, such as from games, apps or accounts you use, and Family Device IDs (or other identifiers unique to Facebook Company Products associated with the same device or account)."

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Does the service collect personal data from third parties? Yes

0/10

Decided Aug. 28, 2019 (revision history). This question accounts for 12% of the final score.

This includes the use of data brokers and independent verification authorities (such as background check providers).

Possible Options

Yes0/10
Only for critical data7/10
No10/10

Citation

"Advertisers, app developers, and publishers can send us information through Facebook Business Tools they use, including our social plug-ins (such as the Like button), Facebook Login, our APIs and SDKs, or the Facebook pixel. These partners provide information about your activities off Facebook—including information about your device, websites you visit, purchases you make, the ads you see, and how you use their services—whether or not you have a Facebook account or are logged into Facebook. For example, a game developer could use our API to tell us what games you play, or a business could tell us about a purchase you made in its store. We also receive information about your online and offline actions and purchases from third-party data providers who have the rights to provide us with your information."

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Is it clear why the service collects the personal data that it does? Somewhat

4/10

Decided Aug. 28, 2019 (revision history). This question accounts for 12% of the final score.

This question deals with transparency. Even if the service uses data for reasons that aren't ideal for privacy, provided they list all of those uses, the service can still receive full credit for this question. However, if they are not explicit about their uses (by employing language like "such as"), a lower score is assigned.

Possible Options

No0/10
Somewhat4/10
Mostly7/10
Yes10/10
No personal data is collected10/10

Citation

"Information across Facebook Products and devices: We connect information about your activities on different Facebook Products and devices to provide a more tailored and consistent experience on all Facebook Products you use, wherever you use them. For example, we can suggest that you join a group on Facebook that includes people you follow on Instagram or communicate with using Messenger. We can also make your experience more seamless, for example, by automatically filling in your registration information (such as your phone number) from one Facebook Product when you sign up for an account on a different Product."

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Does the service allow the user to control whether personal data is used or collected for non-critical purposes? On an opt-out basis, but only for some non-critical data/uses

1.5/5

Decided Aug. 28, 2019 (revision history). This question accounts for 6% of the final score.

Some services allow users to opt-out or opt-in to of non-critical collection or use of personal data, such as collecting data for personalized advertisements.

Possible Options

No0/5
On an opt-out basis, but only for some non-critical data/uses1.5/5
On an opt-out basis, for all non-critical data/uses3/5
N/A (no data used for non-critical purposes)5/5
On an opt-in basis5/5

Note

Available in "settings" on the website.

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Transparency

Does the policy require users to be notified in case of a data breach? No

0/7

Decided Sept. 5, 2019 (revision history). This question accounts for 8% of the final score.

Note that all companies operating in the EU are subject to Art. 33 of the GDPR, which requires companies to notify their data protection authority of a data breach within 72 hours of discovering it.

Possible Options

No0/7
Yes, eventually5/7
Yes, within 72 hours7/7
N/A (the service collects so little personal data that notification would not be possible)7/7

Note

No part of the policy specifies a data breach protocol.

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Will the affected users be notified when the policy is meaningfully changed? Yes

5/5

Decided Aug. 28, 2019 (revision history). This question accounts for 6% of the final score.

Possible Options

No0/5
Yes5/5
N/A (no personal data—or contact information—collected)5/5

Citation

"We'll notify you before we make changes to this policy and give you the opportunity to review the revised policy before you choose to continue using our Products."

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Is the policy's history made available? Only the date it was last modified

3/5

Decided Sept. 5, 2019 (revision history). This question accounts for 6% of the final score.

Possible Options

No0/5
Only the date it was last modified3/5
Yes, with revisions or a change-log5/5

Note

The policy includes a 'date of last revision' on the bottom of the policy, but does not have a change-log or revision history.

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Does the policy outline the service's general security practices? No

0/3

Decided Sept. 5, 2019 (revision history). This question accounts for 4% of the final score.

Possible Options

No0/3
Somewhat1/3
Yes2/3
Yes, including audits2.5/3
N/A (no personal data collected)3/3
Yes, including independent audits3/3

Note

The policy does not mention the steps Facebook takes to secure its data.

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Warnings

Exposed Phone Numbers

Posted Sept. 5, 2019, last updated 3 months, 1 week ago.

In the latest privacy scandal for the tech giant, hundreds of millions of phone numbers linked to Facebook accounts were exposed on a server without authentication. Some of the records also included personal information such as the user's name, gender, and country.

Data Breach

Posted Aug. 28, 2019, last updated 3 months, 2 weeks ago.

More than 540 million records about Facebook users were publicly exposed on Amazon's cloud computing service, according to a cybersecurity research firm.



Highlighted Policy Snapshot ALPHA

Highlighted policy snapshots are a highly experimental feature that provide an annotated version of the privacy policy (displayed in a simplified 'reader view') with automatically-generated highlights. This feature is still in its early stages, so apologies if things don't look right!

3.4/10

How we calculate ratings →


Version Added

Aug. 28, 2019

Ratings Updated

Sept. 15, 2019

Warnings

2

Maintained by

Miles, Igor

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