Are you excited to let Facebook into your homes with the newly-announced Portal smart display and voice-activated speaker? No? If you are someone that has been following the social media giant’s privacy and security issues the past year or so then you’re probably not. While initial reports said that this new product will not be collecting data from users for ad-targeting, we may have spoken too soon as we can now confirm that they are indeed going to do so.
The confusion may have come up because the initial question raised was will Portal be collecting data so that they can serve you ads that are targeted to your demographic and your usage history. The simple answer was no because the smart display will be ad-free at launch. So that’s what most news sites were reporting and somehow potential users were assured that if they do get one, they won’t be targeted.
However, the “fine print” is that while you will not be served ads on Portal, they will still be collecting information on how you use it, the same way that they get information on other Messenger-enabled services. They can then use this data to serve you targeted ads on other Facebook platforms aside from Portal. This may include the main app itself, Messenger, Instagram, etc.
But again, another clarification is that at this point, the data will not be used for ad targeting but potentially, it can be. In other words, there are no plans right now but if they do change their minds down the road, the information is all there anyway so it can be mined to serve you ads that will potentially influence you to buy or subscribe or whatever action the brand wants you to make.
The confusion over what information is taken and how it will be used is one of the reasons why Facebook has been in hot water for the past year or so. When Portal does come out, we will see if consumers will actually look past this and still get the smart display for their homes.
October 17, 2018 at 02:58PM