Facebook Knows You Better Than Your Friends: Privacy intrusion and Facebook advertising

I go on Facebook to check my social media every hour as part of my daily routine. While I was scrolling though my newsfeed I saw an ad for a Korean skincare subscription box. I thought “um, heck yah that sounds sweet!” but then I remembered that I looking at Korean skincare reviews online all day, so I thought “how does Facebook know I like Korean skin care? I had never posted about it or liked any Korean skincare pages recently.” It was weird. So, I did a little digging and found out that Facebook can see what you do online.

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Facebook has access to everything you do online. Yes, everything. Not only is that a little unsettling but it is also kind of terrifying. According to Life hacker.com’s  Alan Henry, “For quite some time now, Facebook’s user tracking hasn’t been limited to your time on the site: any third-party web site or service that’s connected to Facebook or that uses a Like button is sending over your information, without your explicit permission” (2011).

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When you use websites like Spotify, you do not explicitly agree to letting Facebook have your information but you do consent to letting Spotify have your information of what music you listen to and you allow them to distribute your information. They get your consent in the “terms and agreement” where you click the box and say that you have read.

Facebook also uses ad tracking which you can opt out of in your privacy settings. I suggest you turn it off because Facebook uses ad tracking to follow your online activity outside of Facebook in order to place ads for things that you viewed outside of Facebook and sites affiliated with Facebook. Ad tracking is how Facebook knew that I liked Korean skin care. Freaky, right?

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Luckily, you can opt out of the ad tracking by logging out of your Facebook while you are on other websites. If you have tabs open while you have Facebook open, they can use cookies and find out what you are looking at. If you use the same tab you used for Facebook to open another page then Facebook can track you.

The only way to protect yourself and your online privacy from Facebook ad tracking:

  1. Have only one window open when you open Facebook
  2. Do not open any additional tabs while on Facebook
  3. When you open a window on your iPhone, open a private window if you have the Facebook app
  4. If you have the Facebook app and you use any other app that connects to the internet, Facebook can use that information
  5. Don’t download the Facebook app

These things can help you but will not fully protect you from Facebook ad tracking because they already have some of your information. The only full proof way to protect yourself against the invasion of privacy is to deactivate your Facebook entirly.

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Sources:

Gifs: giphy.com

Life Hacker info: http://lifehacker.com/5843969/facebook-is-tracking-your-every-move-on-the-web-heres-how-to-stop-it

Facebook like button picture:

https://www.inboundnow.com/apps/facebook-like-button-generator/

Info on Facebook:

https://www.nikcub.com/posts/facebook-fixes-logout-issue-explains-cookies/

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4 thoughts on “Facebook Knows You Better Than Your Friends: Privacy intrusion and Facebook advertising

  1. This is so freaky!! Thanks for letting us know how to turn off these specific ads Molly! Although, I think I’ll need to compare the ones I used to get to the ones I’ll get now… hopefully they won’t get super weird.

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  2. This is terrifying! I’ll definitely have separate windows on Facebook, but the problem with the Facebook app is that we need it to log into a ton of other apps. It seems we can’t escape.

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    1. It honestly is such a trap. What is messed up that I just found out about is that if we paid $12 to Facebook for life they wouldn’t need to I’ve out personal information or have ads. All our info is only worth $12. I’d rather pay than deal with this.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. this was very informative and I am officially paranoid. Like do you want Facebook? Give us your soul! I’ve always felt like Facebook taps our phones. Like I’ll be taking about something on the phone, then boom, it just magically pops up on my news feed. How sway?

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