Would your company ban Facebook Home?



blog It’s only been two weeks since Facebook launched its Facebook Home home-screen replacement for Android phones, and hours since it was launched in the UK. But as privacy advocates wrestle with the ever-increasing efforts of Web giants bent on collecting and utilising personal information to line their own pockets, some in the security community are calling for companies to ban Facebook Home for the myriad and untested security vulnerabilities they fear may be hiding inside it – as well as the usual concerns over Facebook’s (often-questioned) privacy.

In interviews with security industry publication CSO, several security experts suggested that companies should be very wary of employees giving the new platform – which intimately binds itself to the Android platform – access to their company networks, particularly in companies with formal bring your own device (BYOD) policies:

“That’s the first thing I would block on my network”, Chester Wisniewski, a security advisor for Sophos, said of Facebook Home. The first problem is the unknown. Because security professionals outside of Facebook have not tested the app, no one knows whether it contains vulnerabilities that a hacker could use to install malware. “It just has higher threat levels, because we just don’t know,” said Jack Gold, analyst and founder of J.Gold Associates. “It’s an Android device under the covers, but what has Facebook done?”

Read the full story for even more reasons to be scared of Facebook Home, particularly since Bloomberg reports that the world’s largest social network is apparently well advanced in discussions about bringing the Facebook Home concept to Apple’s iOS. All hail our new overlord, Mark Zuckerberg!


  1. Facebook should be banned from the internet. Far too many stupid people in the world, we really don’t need this colossal beacon attracting the hapless moths. Their rotting corpses are stinking up the joint.

  2. Facebook home? Hell most business network I work with have Facebook IPs blocked. Facebook home won’t just be blocked from the network, it will probably be banned from the workplace. Employees are there to do a job, not waste company time being distracted by the latest trivial nonsense one of their friends is doing, or the latest marketing campaign targeting their particular flavour of stupid. That’s what their own time is for.

    • I have heard tales of people working at companies that actively promote their Facebook profiles to business partners and customers in their email signatures – but at the same time block their employees from accessing their company’s own Facebook profile, or any other.

      Bald hypocrisy, or simply an inevitable compromise for doing business online in this day and age?

      • Necessity.
        Any SEO strategy has to include social media these days even if the business has only contempt for the platform.
        Admittedly those who put it in their signatures should realise that linking to individual posts on their facebook pages would probably have a greater effect than just linking to their profile

      • That’s a reasonable question, David. What I’ve found is lower level employees have no business being anywhere near Facebook or any other social media during their work day, but marketing executives need access as they are the gateway to social media communication for their company.

        It’s interesting just how many senior execs want access to Facebook etc so they can ‘stay on top of social media trends’, which audits usually show is just an excuse to waste time doing precisely the kinds of things they want to stop their employees from doing (except it costs ten times as much when it’s the CEO without any way to actually stop it).

        Every company is different and they have to strike their own balance, but IMHO there should be a limited number of staff with social media access who can monitor and update as part of their responsibilities, who act as gateways and advisors to senior management. As I said above, people are employed to do a job, and unless that job includes reading and updating social media (or indeed the latest news & weather, celebrity gossip or even personal email) they have no business wasting company time and money on such things and the company has not just a right, but a responsibility to enforce such limitations through technical, behavioural and disciplinary means.

        Don’t get me wrong though – there are companies out there like Google where staff have the freedom to essentially do anything they like as long as they achieve key objectives. But there are two reasons for this – first the kinds of people Google hires are very smart self starters, so there is a level of trust that comes from having the creme of the talent pool in your organisation. The other reason is because they are Google there’s no way Google staff will be doing anything the company doesn’t know about if they want to.

        • That kind of militant ‘this is paid work time, no distractions’ is ridiculous. Imagine being banned from talking with colleagues about anything non-work related?

  3. I’m gonna give it a shot; and comment on its quality and usefulness from experience rather than the bandwagon. (Though; having just stepped off the bandwagon I don’t have high hopes ;)

    • OK its horrible.
      Why do apps not implement the settings button?
      Why do they assume there is a hardware settings button?

      As a result; my One XL shows the settings button-bar that appears at the bottom of the page.
      If they had just implemented a software settings button (which I believe is now part of the Android UI design guide?) – perhaps with some logic to decide if it should appear or not…

      I actually really like it otherwise. Maybe I’ll give it a shot… except for the whole pushing me into using facebook messenger… if I could customise that – but then again; why would I be using a facebook launcher…


  4. Anything social media based is a huge no-no where I work and blocks have been implemented for years now.

    Incidentally enough, these days just about anything on the internet that’s not a microsoft patch can’t be downloaded. Our internet here has become so useless that everyone is using their home or mobile connections for downloads.

    I’ve started tethering my phone to my work computer to download critical files it has gotten that bad.

    The irony of it all is that they’re still indirectly paying for it be it reimbursement claims or lost productivity.

  5. OMG I’m wasting time on social media right now! Better get back to work …

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