Facebook is tracking you in ways you never knew - here's the crazy amount of data it sucks up

Facebook is tracking you in ways you never knew - here's the crazy amount of data it sucks up



A woman protests against Facebook.


Facebook has revealed all the creepy ways it records information on users.

The disclosure was made in a deluge of answers to US Congress following CEO Mark Zuckerberg's appearance in April over the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

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The 222-page document contained multiple disclosures about the way Facebook collects data from people.

Some were unsurprising, such as the time people spend on Facebook or if they buy things via the site, but others shed light on the sheer scale of Facebook's monitoring machine.


Below are some of the creepiest ways Facebook is recording your data:

  • Facebook records your mouse movements. This helps the company recognise that you are human and not a robot.
  • Another way Facebook distinguishes that you're not a robot is by monitoring if your browser window is "foregrounded or backgrounded."
  • Facebook collects a lot of data about your devices, including your battery level, signal strength, and available storage space.
  • Your operating system, browser type, file names, and plugins are also fair game for Facebook.
  • Facebook also knows your mobile operator, internet service provider, and IP address, as well as your cookie data, time zone, and internet connection speed.
  • And you're not alone. The company said "in some cases" in monitors devices around its users or on the same network, so it "can do things like help users stream a video from their phone to their TV."
  • The signals of your device are also monitored, including Bluetooth and information about nearby Wi-Fi access points. Close by "cell towers" are also known to Facebook.
  • Facebook hoovers up your GPS location, camera information, and photos if you don't lock down your settings. Call logs and SMS log history are also recorded if users chose to sync their Android devices or upload data.
  • Data about your "online and offline actions" and purchases from third-party providers is collected, in addition to information about the "games, apps or accounts" people use.

You can read the full Facebook response to Congress here.