Facebook, embattled in the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, today revealed that it collected information from people beyond their social network use.
“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,” Facebook’s director of product management David Baser said in a post on the social network’s blog.
“This is because other apps and sites don’t know who is using Facebook,” he added, noting Facebook was also following up with Congress on a few dozen questions Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was unable to answer at the time of the hearings last week.
Baser said “many” websites and apps use Facebook services to target content and ads, including via the social network’s Like and Share buttons, when people use their Facebook account to log into another website or app and Facebook ads and measurement tools.
He also said that the practice was widespread, with companies such as Google and Twitter also doing the same.
“Most websites and apps send the same information to multiple companies each time you visit them,” the post said.
“There are three main ways in which Facebook uses the information we get from other websites and apps: providing our services to these sites or apps; improving safety and security on Facebook; and enhancing our own products and services.
“I want to be clear: We don’t sell people’s data. Period,” Baser added.