When Facebook launched its Portal home video device earlier this month, the announcement was met with disbelief and criticism. After all, the company is currently in the middle of a massive data breach scandal; why would anyone want to let it into their home with a camera and microphone? However, Facebook insisted the device was “private by design.” But now the company has already had to backtrack on some of its promises and clarify that Portal can, in fact, gather user information.
Facebook must’ve figured out it had a problem on its hands when news organizations began reporting that no information collected by Portal would be used to target advertising. The company itself reached out to Recode to clarify that that wasn’t exactly true.
“We collect the same types of information (i.e. usage data such as length of calls, frequency of calls) that we collect on other Messenger-enabled devices,” a Facebook spokesperson told Recode. “We may use this information to inform the ads we show you across our platforms. Other general usage data, such as aggregate usage of apps, etc., may also feed into the information that we use to serve ads.”
This revelation isn’t exactly a surprise, but it is further proof, if you needed it, that buying a Facebook home device is probably not a good idea.