Facebook Reveals Every Way That It Tracks You

Facebook has found itself under increasing pressure from members of the public, advocates and lawmakers following a slew of recent revelations about its data and privacy practices. Some of the toughest questions the social media giant has faced came from U.S. Senators and members of Congress who grilled CEO Mark Zuckerberg when he appeared before them this spring to answer questions. Except Zuckerberg didn’t appear terribly well-prepared during his appearance; he told many of the lawmakers that he would have to “get back to them” following their tough questions. Well, now he has: Facebook just released a 500-page report in response to the lawmakers’ questions. And some of the information in the response is quite eye-opening.

The company was intentionally vague in many of its written answers, but it did also reveal the full scale and scope of how it tracks users. Some of the ways it follows you include recording your mouse movements, noting whether or not your browser window is “foregrounded or backgrounded,” your phone’s battery life and storage space, and even whether or not you’re near another user on the same network.

None of those disclosures are necessarily breaking news, but it’s still shocking to see all of them grouped in one place. Sometimes it’s good to be reminded of just how much Facebook knows about us — and the lengths it will go to in order to learn even more.