The New Facebook “Home” May Be a Step Too Far

At a recent showing, Mark Zuckerberg announced a new Android app that will basically act as a skin. The Android home screen is replaced with a graphic version of the Facebook news feed and the home page will have additional Facebook features for posting to the site and communicating with friends. The app is a way for people that use Facebook often to be able to access the social network’s services easily, most likely with a ton of ads being thrown at you. Below is a video of Mark Zuckerberg going through the  features and perks of the app while failing to mention how this app will jeopardize your privacy.

Facebook has already raised controversy over the collection of personal data and browsing habits, but this app will bring this invasion of privacy to a whole new level. Smartphones have built in GPS systems, and phones with Facebook Home will track where you go and what businesses you visit to help collect data on you. An article speaking on the new app said that “Facebook Home pulls SMS text messages into the mix. Who you talk to, when you talk to them and, in the case of text messages, what you talk about are possibly fertile grounds for data collection.” People now are willing to share some personal information with Facebook to be able to use the service, but with Facebook Home running on your phone, it will make it easier for the company to collect data about your personal life without you even knowing. The difference is that while people are using Facebook they are actively sharing information such as uploading a picture, but with this new app people will be passively sharing information unknowingly. 

This new level of data collection scares me and makes me wonder when enough is enough. It makes me think of the concept brought up in class about the double edged sword of technology and whether or not the positives outweigh the negatives. I believe that this app crosses the line and will blur the line between private and public life even more than it already is. In a world where private information is becoming more and more public, people must decide how much they are willing to put up with in regards to privacy. The app is optional of course, but the problem is that many people are uneducated about the fact that Facebook will have access to a lot of their personal information. I believe that Facebook should make it known to the public just what data they will be able to collect on a person through Home.

facebook-home (1)

 Ignoring the privacy issues and looking at this app and the idea of a Facebook phone through a business perspective, one can only wonder if these are smart ideas for the company. The issue we brought up in this class was of core competency. Should Facebook be focusing on this app and a phone when it is not its core competency, and will it be able to compete with the big players already in this market?  I think that they are wasting their time with these endeavours and should focus on their core competency, because these side projects will most likely not add substantial revenue or make a dent in the phone industry.

Read more about the Facebook Home her:


5 thoughts on “The New Facebook “Home” May Be a Step Too Far

  1. I am continually impressed with the technological advances that are created as time goes on and technology evolves. Although the concept is very intriguing that one can have all sorts of social media without even unlocking your phone, is it really necessary? I agree that innovation is great, but only to a certain extent. The thought of Facebook and other social media sights having even more access to personal information about us though is extremely frightening. The limiting of our privacy is not worth just having social media at our finger tips. Eliminating few minuscule steps is not worth the intrusion of privacy.

  2. I want to thank you for this article and the video because I’ve been trying to figure out what exactly this Facebook Home thing is for days. Great use of media. I think that Facebook Home is just really going to far and I definitely would not want it on my phone. Why not? well for starters I have A LOT of Facebook friends I could care less about, which I’m sure we all do. And there are those obnoxious “friends” that post and are on Facebook way too often. I don’t need to see 7 status updates from the same person when I turn on my phone. I want the option of inviting these “friends” into my day, which I’d do by selecting my Facebook app. Also Facebook has so many ads now I actually went on the other day and was shocked to see ads all over my profile. At one point my Facebook news feed was flooded with porn, I have no idea why I guess I was bugged but I stayed off of it until I could go on my Facebook and not be disgusted anymore. Imagine that’s what I’m forced to see every time I go on my phone. No. Just No.

  3. I completely agree with you in your conviction that Facebook Home is a step too far. I too am scared of this new level of invasion of privacy. I think the scariest invasion of privacy brought up in your blog post is that Facebook Home would be able to access information on who your texting, what time your texting them, and what you are texting them about. I would never trust Facebook with this sort of data information. It also bothers me that Facebook doesn’t seem to share the full implications of Facebook Home with its customers. This only reduces my trust in Facebook as a company because they do not seem to have my best interests in mind.

  4. Pingback: Facebook’s new initiatives…complete misstep or genius? | MI021 Class Blog

  5. People are very near-sighted when it comes to technology, and Zuckerberg knows that most people will not even think about the privacy issues when they use Facebook Home. Since I do not have an android, nor do I use Facebook that often, I would never have to worry about whether or not to download this app. If I had to, I do not think I would download it because I do not like the idea of them being able to basically know everything about me, including my every move. I think that although they are not technically breaking any laws, they are kinda intruding on our amendment rights of privacy. This is definitely going to far in my opinion.

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