Despite a recent class action settlement and warnings from the Federal Trade Commission, the company remains committed to exploiting its massive user databank, they say, and the new phone and other emerging tech gadgets will significantly enhance their capacity to do so. For example, with Google Glass, a headset that allows users to walk around interacting online via voice command, companies will be able to mine location data more deeply than they had in the past.
“The more you integrate with a mobile phone, the more data you can collect,” says Parker Higgins, a spokesman for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a cyber-rights advocacy group in San Francisco. “In the case of Facebook, there’s more concern because Facebook doesn’t have a great track record with respecting people’s sense of privacy.”
Jeffrey Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy in Washington, told the Los Angeles Times this week that “consumers using the Facebook phone will be further ‘in the pocket’ of [Facebook founder and CEO] Mark Zuckerberg,” and that the company “has dramatically expanded how it collects and analyzes its users’ mobile data, giving it a detailed map of what we do, where we are, and what we buy.”