Facebook shares rise as tech giant details data collection of non-users

on Apr 17, 2018

Facebook shares ended higher in the US Monday, as the social media giant shared a post on why it collects the data of non-Facebook users, following a testimony in front of US congress in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg answered over 500 questions and is working to answer another 40 that he didn’t immediately have the answers to during the hearing.

Facebook shares closed 0.19% higher at $164.83, Monday. The stock is also in the green in after-hours trading.

Data use clarification

During questioning, it was revealed by Zuckerberg that Facebook doesn’t just track the data and usage of its registered users. It also stores some data on non-Facebook users too.

The tech giant’s CEO explained his business isn’t the only online firm to do so and that the practise is intrinsic to the way the internet works.

The way in which Facebook gets and tracks non-user data is primarily through online advertising. Many businesses use Facebook ads to promote their products and services. When an internet user clicks on one of those ads that can pop up on a variety of websites, then a cookie placed on that ad makes some basic user data available to Facebook.

How Facebook uses non-user data

The social media site goes onto to explain exactly how it uses the data it collects in the wider internet.

“There are three main ways in which Facebook uses the information we get from other websites and apps,” said Facebook Product Management Director, David Baser.

“Providing our services to these sites or apps; improving safety and security on Facebook; and enhancing our own products and services,” Baser said, adding: “I want to be clear: We don’t sell people’s data. Period.”

He adds that using this data doesn’t just help internet users receive information they’re interested in, it also helps Facebook to keep its site safe from potentially harmful users.

The post ends by stating Facebook’s commitment to transparency.

“Whether it’s information from apps and websites, or information you share with other people on Facebook, we want to put you in control — and be transparent about what information Facebook has and how it is used,” Baser said.