Former Cambridge Analytica employee Britney Kaiser told United Kingdom lawmakers on Tuesday that the political data firm scraped information on users from numerous questionnaires.
Zuckerberg's refusal to answer questions has not helped his company's image either. To make login processes simpler, some websites allow users to log in to their platform using their Facebook credentials. Although much of this has been reported on before, until now, Facebook has not commented in detail on its activities.
In his post, Baser said that when someone visits a site or an app that uses its services (social plugins, Facebook Login, Facebook Analytics, Facebook ads and measurement tools), the site or app owner doesn't know if the visitor is a Facebook user or not and sends all the information to the company even if you are logged out or don't have a Facebook account.
When asked to expand on her written testimony, Kaiser explained Cambridge Analytica's creative, psychology, and data science teams partnered to create in-house questionnaires that "scraped, resold and modelled [data] willy-nilly".
When does Facebook get data about people from other websites and apps? Cookies help with identifying unique visitors and recognize which visitors are Facebook users to provide aggregated demographic information such as age and gender. "This is because other apps and sites don't know who is using Facebook".
Many websites and apps use Facebook services to make their content and ads more engaging and relevant.
One in six of those groups was linked to Russian Federation, according to a University of Wisconsin-Madison study, and the identities of the rest of the 122 groups that are labeled "suspicious" are still unknown, an indication of the influence of "astroturf" or shell companies in United States politics.
Facebook's product management director, David Baser, conceded that "when you visit a site or app that uses our services, we receive information even if you're logged out or don't have a Facebook account".
It additionally repeats how it's ready to assemble data on individuals who don't utilize Facebook.
Facebook Audience Network enables other websites and apps to show ads from Facebook advertisers.
So once Facebook - and these other platforms - have your data, how are they using it? Non-users, meanwhile, have no control over what Facebook knows about them, or what happens with that data.