Facebook specifically named fellow tech giants Twitter, Google and Amazon in a blog post discussing how and why it uses people’s personal information — an apparent attempt to pull the ostensible competitors into the arena of cacophonous public backlash.
“When you visit a site or app that uses our services, we receive information even if you’re logged out or don’t have a Facebook account. This is because other apps and sites don’t know who is using Facebook,” Facebook product management director David Baser wrote. “Many companies offer these types of services, and like Facebook, they also get information from the apps and sites that use them.”
Baser’s explanation comes roughly a week after CEO Mark Zuckerberg seemingly culminated an apology tour by meeting with lawmakers and testifying in front of two separate congressional committees for several hours. (RELATED: Sen Thune Asks Zuckerberg If He Will Respect Free Speech Since There’s An Alleged Bias)
Google and Twitter executives — much like in prior official hearings — may be joining Zuckerberg for the respective testimonies, some reports originally said. But those company leaders were not subjected to the generally wanting questions of the presiding elected officials.
Facebook made little to no mention of other companies in the run-up to the hearings but now potentially sees an opportunity to bring other Silicon Valley players into the conversations seemingly trending toward threats of some form of legislation.
“Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn all have similar Like and Share buttons to help people share things on their services,” Baser continued. “Google has a popular analytics service. And Amazon, Google and Twitter all offer login features. These companies — and many others — also offer advertising services. In fact, most websites and apps send the same information to multiple companies each time you visit them.”
Facebook has taken a number of measures to purportedly ensure its users that it cares about their data, and doesn’t want harmful opportunists or evildoers manipulating its platform, the social media company said.
One of those steps included tabling a number of prospective technological projects, like a soon-to-be-released smart speaker, to verify there are no unforeseen privacy concerns. Google, Amazon and Apple all offer smart speakers, which have artificial intelligence and can listen to people’s conversations. Skepticism over how much unwanted snooping is being conducted by these advanced pieces of technology was discussed during their original introduction and initial nascency, but that concern has seemed to quiet down as other areas of anxiety, like Facebook’s foundational platform and business, have taken over.
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