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.
Has there ever been a breach or data leak?
Date of last breach
Over 267 million Facebook user phone numbers, names and user IDs were exposed in a database on the dark web. Facebook believes this breach occurred either through exploitation of Facebook's API, which has since been updated, or through automated technology used to scrape information from public user profiles.
Is any kind of biometric data collected (health, heart, voice, etc.)?
Are you able to delete your data / the data collected about you?
Does it have parental controls?
Does it use encryption to protect your data both in-transit and at-rest?
Does it get regular software and / or firmware updates?
Does it require you to create a strong password?
Is there a system in place for managing security vulnerabilities?
How Can It Snoop?
Does it have a camera or request / require access to a camera?
Does it have a microphone or request / require access to a microphone?
Does it track your location or request / require access to location data?
Does it require an email address to use?
Does it require a phone number to use?
Does it require an address (home or office) to use?
Are you able to use a credit card as a payment option?
Are you able to use a cryptocurrency as a payment option?
Are you able to use PayPal as a payment option?
Are you able to use cash or gift cards as a payment option?
What Could Go Wrong?
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?
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.
- Easy to call friends with Messenger, WhatsApp, etc.
- Solid Amazon Alexa integration.
- Serious privacy concerns.
- Unreliable Bluetooth connection.
Facebook is notoriously bad when it comes to protecting user privacy. They have been the target of several hacks, and have been known to sell user information to third parties, such as Cambridge Analytica. Even though messages in this app are supposedly end-to-end encrypted, the fact that it is owned by Facebook means they most likely have a backdoor to access information from these messages. Use this product with extreme caution.