DID YOU know that Facebook knows the size, value and square-footage of your house? And that’s just the beginning.
If Facebook has ever surfaced an advertisement on your News Feed that is eerily well-suited to you and your tastes, this is how the process works.
The US social network (which has previously conducted bizarre experiments on its users) has revealed the extensive list of information it holds on users and uses to match adverts with Facebook users.
The criteria ranges from the obvious – age, hometown, school, friends – to the downright bizarre.
For example, Facebook keeps a record of when you’ve recently started a new relationship, calculates how much money you are likely to spend on your next car, tracks what operating system you are using to login to the social network, and more.
It will even track the types of credit cards you have owned.
Facebook has launched a new website that takes users through the 98 personal data points it uses for targeted advertising.
“We want the ads people see on Facebook to be interesting, useful and relevant,” a Facebook spokesperson told The Washington Post.
To do this, Facebook will track your on-site activity – like the pages you have liked, the adverts you click, the device you’re using to access the social network and where you are when you use Facebook.
Facebook also measures how long you spend reading posts, statuses, comments or browsing a friends’ photos.
If you linger on a particular person’s status, or read through the comments under a certain kind of video – Facebook will take this as an indication you’d like to see similar content.
But it’s not simply your activity on Facebook that Mark Zuckerberg’s hugely-successful service tracks.
If you remain logged into Facebook, the social network can see almost every other website you visit.
And even if you log-out of your Facebook account before you start surfing the world wide web, it still keeps a close eye.
Facebook is alerted every time you load a webpage with one of its Like or Share buttons embedded. Any websites that use advertisements sourced from Atlas network will also track your movements.
Facebook also provides online publishers with a small piece of code – dubbed Facebook Pixel – that allows them (and of course, Facebook) to log any Facebook-using visitors.
These measures have helped to make Facebook an advertising monolith.
During the second finical quarter of 2016, the California-based company made £4.8 billion in advertising – up 63 per cent from the year before.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which blasted Microsoft over its “unprecedented” data collection in Windows 10, called Facebook’s targeting methods “the most invasive in the world.”
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