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Fears over privacy issues following Facebook Home launch


By Ishbel Macleod, PR and social media consultant

April 5, 2013 | 3 min read

It has been suggested that the Facebook Home launch could bring about privacy fears, as it could mean that data about users is constantly being gathered.

The app will put Facebook feeds on the home page of a phone; leading to many suggesting that the data discovered could be mined for ads.

Till Faida, co-founder of Adblock Plus, told The Drum: "In theory, I think the idea of 'Home' is great. In reality, the ramifications on users' privacy is very worrying, with many claiming that it will help Facebook sell ads.

“Online privacy is becoming more and more of an issue for internet users, as large organisations with possession of extremely rich personal data are looking at ways of monetising this information. This behavior needs to stop and websites should accept that our data is our property, for us to sell, as we wish, not for them to profit from."

However, Rippleffect suggested that the launch ‘wasn’t a game changer’: “Many Android devices already have prominent social media functionality,” Alec Woolford, technical operations director, commented, adding “With Apple selling its products on the breadth of what they can do – such as learning to play instruments, photo editing, diet apps, etc – Facebook's home seems to go the opposite way by reducing the features of a phone to focus predominantly on only aspect."

Holly Seddon, editor in chief for, suggested that for teenagers, it would not make much of a difference: “It’s important to remember that Facebook is not suitable for under-13s, for many reasons. Arguably even teenagers are fairly naive about this type of transaction (their services in exchange for your data and ad clicks). Parents will be fighting a losing battle to ban their teenagers from accessing Facebook – it’s not simply a case of controlling what happens on the family desktop anymore, teens can access Facebook and other apps and social services through their phones, tablets, friends’ devices, the library and more. So the important thing is for parents to pay careful attention to the sites and services their kids access, to educate and talk to their kids about making full use of privacy and security settings, to talk to them about safe online behaviour and be open to hearing their kids’ experiences and helping to equip them with common sense and a little bit of nous."

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