Facebook admits its Portal device could collect user data for ad targeting

Facebook backtracks, says data from Portal devices may inform ad targeting

Facebook backtracks, says data from Portal devices may inform ad targeting

There's a button to turn off the always-on camera, it comes with a lens cover, and Facebook doesn't listen to, view, or keep the contents of video calls. However, because the Portal is built upon the Facebook Messenger chat platform, the company collects information about app usage and call length and frequency. Per a report via Cheddar, that device would allow video calling along with some degree of entertainment media consumption.

At a time when Facebook is under fire for getting hacked to acquire that data, further transparency may be helpful in assuaging fears people may have regarding placing a camera-and-microphone setup that tracks movement inside the home. Facebook may introduce the device next year.

For marketers, if consumers don't trust Facebook, this could impact the effectiveness of their ads. But regardless of the name, it's sure to encounter heavy skepticism due to Facebook's history of privacy and security troubles. Essentially, Facebook is attempting to create an augmented reality experience so that users feel like they are hanging out in the same room as the individuals on the other end of the video chat.

In the biggest-ever security breach after Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook admitted earlier this month that hackers broke into almost 50 million users' accounts by stealing their "access tokens" or digital keys.

Kleenex Is Rebranding Its ‘Mansize’ Tissues After Complaints of Sexism
The company later revealed the change in name on Twitter without offering an explanation, writing: "Thank you for sharing your concern".

Facebook has faced scrutiny for its lapses in privacy protections, such as the Cambridge Analytica scandal that prompted the US Congress to question Mark Zuckerberg about all aspects of the social network, along with Facebook's history of screwing up and later apologizing. That's because Facebook integrated Alexa into the Portal.

Portal and Portal Plus are Facebook's first branded hardware products, taking the form of twin AI-enabled smart speakers and video-communication tools for speaking to Facebook contacts directly. They also can show advertising with screensaver-like notifications when they're not being used, per Digital Trends.

Facebook's Portal's devices sit on a desk or countertop and cost $199 for a smaller screen and $349 for a bigger one.

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