Facebook Messenger is now forcing some users to check their privacy settings

Facebook brings us news or happenings we might otherwise never read about or encounter. AFP

Facebook brings us news or happenings we might otherwise never read about or encounter. AFP

Tough luck if you don't want "engaging" ads.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had last week in a series of hearing in US Congress had answered over 500 questions from Senators over privacy and data protection at Facebook.

Zuckerberg began to explain a few of the basics, but eventually said his team would follow up with more information later.

In a post, David Baser, Product Management Director at Facebook, wrote: "Apps and websites that use our services, such as the Like button or Facebook Analytics, send us information to make their content and ads better".

That means Facebook collects data from a lot of places, such as apps that let you log in with a Facebook account, news sites that let you share articles to Facebook, and other spots. In an official blog post, published on 16 April, Facebook throws light on the goal and nature of data it is collecting from third party websites and apps which are using their various engagement tools.

One of Zuckerberg's major slip-ups was when he was asked how long Facebook retains data after a user has deleted his or her account.

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In return for that information, Facebook helps those websites serve up relevant ads or receive analytics that help them understand how people use their services. Google has a popular analytics service. Recode also reported that Martin Sorrell, founder and CEO of WPP, the world's largest advertising group, resigned amid an investigation into personal misconduct and improper use of company funds.

Mind you, most information which Facebook or other websites collect are vital to render meaningful services.

Facebook was recently considered the least trustworthy of protecting users' personal information following a spate of unseemly revelations and happenings, which, along with another poll, shows a fast changing mindset for Zuckerberg and the company once ostensibly regarded as darlings of the American dream and economy. "For example, receiving data about the sites a particular browser has visited can help us identify bad actors", he posted.

Facebook gets some data on non-users from people on its network, such as when a user uploads email addresses of friends.

Baser clarified that the data received from other websites and apps also helped Facebook improve the content and ads shown on the social networking site.

Amid a revamp following the breakout of the data breach scandal involving Cambridge Analytica and Facebook, the social media giant announced a facelift for its "Bookmarks" section to facilitate easy access and navigation of settings.

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