I have been thinking about Facebook Home but haven’t quite gotten the right words together. If you are unfamiliar, Facebook Home is an app that brings all of the Facebook functionality front and center on an Android device. App, though, is too simple. In short, installing Facebook Home means giving up control of your device to Facebook. Facebook Home takes over the entire thing. If you understand Facebook’s business model (selling you) and care, this should scare the crap out of you. Everything you do on that phone will be tracked by Facebook: every call you make, every place you go, every text you send, every app you use. Facebook will know it all. It’s The Police’s Every Breath You Take (lyrics) for the modern era.
As I said, though, I wasn’t certain what to write. There is so much to consider here. What I wrote above was the first thought. The second was the implications to Android. The third was the implications to Google. And then I read Matt Drance’s piece on the topic today and thought I might as well just link you to him. Incredibly well put:
Google knew what it was doing when it made and marketed Android as an “open” system. It surely anticipated forks by handset makers as a manageable risk as long as Google kept advancing the system. But I wonder if it expected something like Facebook Home: an inside-out heist, made by a company after the same exact user data and advertisers Google is after. How it chooses to respond in the near future should give us an answer.
Read the entire article, available here.