Reviewed October 5th, 2020
product
privacy guide
Avoid If Possible ☠️
Facebook, Inc. 🔗
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Facebook Portal

Facebook, Inc.
1/10

Summary

The Facebook Portal is a smart device that can be used to call friends or as a corporate telepresence device. It also comes equipped with Amazon Alexa integration so you can connect it with your other smart home devices. The Portal can be purchased for $129 to $279 depending on the model.

Privacy Checklist

Does it meet our minimum privacy standards?

Is any kind of biometric data collected (health, heart, voice, etc.)?

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Are you able to delete your data / the data collected about you?

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Does it use cookies, telemetry, or third-party tracking scripts?

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Is the privacy policy user-friendly (easy to understand)?

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Does it have parental controls?

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Does it use encryption to protect your data both in-transit and at-rest?

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Does it get regular software and / or firmware updates?

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Does it require you to create a strong password?

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Is there a system in place for managing security vulnerabilities?

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Does it have a privacy policy?

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How Can It Snoop?

What sensitive hardware access requirements does it have?

Does it have a camera or request / require access to a camera?

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Does it have a microphone or request / require access to a microphone?

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Does it track your location or request / require access to location data?

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Account Requirements

What information is required to create an account or use it?

Does it require an email address to use?

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Does it require a phone number to use?

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Does it require an address (home or office) to use?

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Payment Options

What payment methods are available?

Are you able to use a credit card as a payment option?

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Are you able to use a cryptocurrency as a payment option?

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Are you able to use PayPal as a payment option?

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Are you able to use cash or gift cards as a payment option?

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What Could Go Wrong?

What's the worst case scenario for your data?

Facebook has been known to betray users' privacy, so bringing a device with a smart camera and an always listening microphone into your home does not sound like a great idea. Facebook also completes human review of audio snippets unless you opt out, meaning they could be listening to your private conversations. Be warned of these risks before purchasing this product.

How Does It Share Your Data?

Where is your data going? Who has access to it?

Facebook claims it does not use anything you say in a Portal video call or voice interactions for ad targeting, but may use data about Portal usage, such as how often you do video calls, what apps you open, and what features you use, to do so. Facebook may also share demographic and audience engagement data with advertisers and analytics partners.

Good Things

Why should you use it?

  • Easy to call friends with Messenger, WhatsApp, etc.
  • Solid Amazon Alexa integration.

Bad Things

What are the downsides?

  • Serious privacy concerns.
  • Unreliable Bluetooth connection.
Privacy Policy 🔗
#alexa
#facebook
#portal
#smart-device
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