Digital Gabe
Cutting Edge Commentary On All Things Media

It’s Official . . . Facebook’s Portal Device Will Be Spying On You

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A few weeks ago Facebook debuted a new connected home device called Portal.  The device, with versions selling from $200-350, is billed as a voice-enabled digital assistant with a screen, which can serve as the communication hub of your home.  Right after Portal launched Facebook was asked if it would be listening to its users (aka spying), and then use the data collected in some other way.  (Because why would anyone be concerned about Facebook collecting our private data, right?)  Facebook responded with a clear no to the question of Portal data collection.  End of story . . . until now.

Just two weeks later Facebook is changing its tune.  In response to questions from Recode, FB said “Portal doesn’t have ads, but data about who you call and data about which apps you use on Portal can be used to target you with ads on other Facebook-owned properties.”  Wait, so Portal is in fact listening to us and sending the data to Facebook which can be used for retargeting on Facebook, Instagram, etc.?  Sounds an awful lot like spying to me.

At least we now know the truth about Portal.  But it doesn’t make me any more comfortable with the idea of putting a Facebook device in my home.

 

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