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.
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).
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?
The only way to protect yourself and your online privacy from Facebook ad tracking:
- Have only one window open when you open Facebook
- Do not open any additional tabs while on Facebook
- When you open a window on your iPhone, open a private window if you have the Facebook app
- If you have the Facebook app and you use any other app that connects to the internet, Facebook can use that information
- 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.
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:
Info on Facebook: