Update from the dumpster fire: even Facebook’s execs don’t know what data is they’re collecting

no-facebook-300x300This time it’s the Portal, the new Facebook new home camera.

The conclusion is inescapable, and would seemingly bode ill for Facebook’s home hardware line: Even when the company appears to be going out of its way to collect less data about you than usual, making a show of how the device is “private by design,” its own spokespeople can still struggle to articulate exactly what they are collecting, and how it might be used.

Incidentally, at least with respect to Portal’s use of Messenger infrastructure, I’m willing to bet the Portal team didn’t even know until recently that call data could be used to target ads at Facebook users. It’s entirely possible that the contours of the company’s data-collection operation are broader than most employees can even keep in their heads at any given time.

This is what happens when your whole business is built around bad ideas.

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