Facebook Confirms it Collects Data Beyond Users

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"This is because other apps and sites don't know who is using Facebook".

There was one question that Facebook CEO was asked again and again during his recent hearings in Washington DC: Why does Facebook track people who are not Facebook users?

During Zuckerberg's congressional testimony he claimed to be ignorant of what are known as "shadow profiles". "I think there are a number of areas of content we need to do a better job of policing on our service, " Zuckerberg replied. It wasn't clear, but others were not impressed by his answer. Facebook receives all of this data as well, Baser said, as well as information on which website or app is being used.

Next, Blair joins Facebook, uploading his phone's contacts too.

What are Facebook's 'shadow profiles?'

Use these controls to restrict apps from accessing your Facebook data.

It seems like a earnestly designed feature in service of Facebooks's goal of connecting people. These companies also offer advertising services.

But the practice brings to light some thorny issues around consent, data collection, and personally identifiable information.

Their general concern, they said, is that many of Facebook's 2.1 billion users have no idea how much data Facebook could collect about them and how the company could use it. Such scraping heightens the odds that Facebook could be subject to major fines from the Federal Trade Commission, which is investigating the matter, and it drew sharp rebukes from lawmakers who felt Facebook should have spotted it sooner. How do we deal with the new public sphere as it operates?' " She added: "People mistakenly think that Facebook sells your data. It's anything that could be considered as copyright-able work or intellectual property (IP). This is data that is created by your presence or your social proximity to Facebook. This means that they may still have access to information you previously shared, but can't make additional requests for private information.

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"We believe that our board and committees have sufficient time and resources to address risk oversight matters along with their other responsibilities", Facebook had said.

To a pointed question by a Senator whether Zuckerberg would support legislation that would notify users in case of a breach of security within 72 hours, the reply was a vague: "Senator, that makes sense to me...we will follow this up later".

It was a point that Republican Senator John Kennedy raised with Zuckerberg this week (see video).

Mark Zuckerberg owns more than 401.4 million Facebook shares and he got almost $3 billion richer in the past couple of days.

This should go beyond a mere awareness-style PR campaign.

Tufekci says the targeting specificity that Facebook user data allows is chilling, giving as an example the ability to determine if a person is bipolar: "You can predict people's likelihood of entering a depressive state or a manic state in the next few months ... you can imagine the kind of manipulation that it's open to".

What is Facebook, and how should it be regulated?

Even if you've never signed up for Facebook, the company might still have a file on you, gathered through uploaded contact lists, photos, or other sources.When someone you know joins Facebook, the social network can find traces of you in the email/phone contacts, for example.