Privacy Not Included – Facebook Portal

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How does it share data?

Facebook says that it does not use anything you say on a Portal video call or voice interactions for targeted ads, but data about your Portal usage – how often you do video calls, what apps you open, what features you use – can be used to target you with advertisements across Facebook. The company may also share specific demographic and audience engagement data with advertisers and analytics partners.

Can you delete your data?


You can manually delete your voice data in Portal or on your Facebook Activity Log. However, the only way to delete all your data is to remove your Facebook account altogether. Portal only works if you connect an active Facebook account.

Parental controls?


Collects biometrics data?


Facebook collects and may review voice data from interactions with the Portal. The Portal also has an AI-powered “SmartCamera” that tracks you as you move in the video frame during a call. These movement-tracking features are processed locally on each Portal device, not on Facebook’s servers. However, it is worth noting that Facebook has a clouded relationship with facial recognition. A class-action lawsuit is pending against the company for violating an Illinois biometrics law by using facial recognition without explicit consent.

User friendly privacy info?


Facebook does offer privacy information about Portal in fairly simple language, but the company presents an incomplete picture of Facebook’s privacy practices. Portal users will need to read through not just the Portal supplemental privacy policy, but also Facebook’s lengthy privacy policy. Facebook directs you to submit a request form with your contact info to get detailed information on what data is collected, how that data is used, and who that data is shared with.

Links to privacy information


What could happen if something went wrong

Facebook has a history of betraying users’ privacy and trust. They’ve faced record fines for this and have been caught hiding privacy breaches from their users. This is the starting point for bringing a device with an AI-powered smart camera and always listening microphone that is sending data back to Facebook regularly. They also say they do human review of audio snippets unless you chose (and take the time to figure out how) to opt out. The question comes down to, does Facebook have your best interests at heart when it collects all the data this device is capabal of collecting on you. In the past–from Cambridge Analytic and beyond–the answer to that question has way too often been, NO.

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