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What Facebook really knows about you

Are you truly aware of how much Facebook knows about you? Are we losing control over our privacy?

How Facebook works

Facebook is basically a business that runs on selling ads to its users. To effectively deliver ads that are relevant, it needs to know a great deal about you. And this is what Facebook does best. We have an idea about how much Facebook knows about us, but the true extent of its knowledge will surprise the most of us.

Some of the more obvious data Facebook has on you is your phone number, email and through GPS and Wifi, your location. You most likely also typed in your education and profession, when you created your profile. This type of information you provide to Facebook consciously, and even that is enough for Facebook to figure out where you live, where you work, how you commute, at what time you leave home and come back from work. However, the really valuable data is collected, when you start using Facebook.

Based on the information above, Facebook also knows when you go on vacation.

“It knows the class of hotel you stay in and thus probably your income or at least your position in a company. Try staying at a 5-star hotel a few times and you’ll soon see Jaguar and Gucci ads.”

The eye is everywhere

Facebook is allowed (by accepting their terms) to collect data on you from its related apps, which means that even if you don’t use Facebook while on vacation, it will know from your usage of apps like Messenger, Whatsapp and Instagram.

“If you stop at the same pub every day at 6, the same hospital every two days, or a Church three times a week, Facebook can tell that you are either an alcoholic, a diabetic, or a religious fanatic.”

Facebook will probably also know if you smoke. If your location moves outside of the building and you spend 5 minutes on Facebook every 2 hours, then you probably went for a cigarette.

Your friends reveal who you are

Based on what you like, share and the people you are connected with, Facebook is able to tell some incredible things about you.

“if all of your friends continuously share posts about anti-abortion rallies and check in at church on Sundays, Facebook can infer that you are a conservative redneck even if your profile is empty and you’ve never shared or liked a post in your life.“

The more data Facebook collects on you, the more accurate its targeting becomes and the more you have to fear for your privacy. You feed the Facebook algorithms with valuable data every time you like and share something – and even if you don’t, your friends will make sure it knows who you are.

Get to know more

Digi-Talks is hosting an event about data privacy and data ethics; view the details here.

You can read more articles here.

Sources: What Facebook Really Knows About You

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