Facebook is back in the hot seat, and it’s becoming ever apparent why so many seem to be abandoning the social media website. The number of details that Facebook is keeping track of is borderline terrifying, and here’s how to find out what it knows.
As if the censorship wasn’t bad enough on Facebook, they also use your own personal preferences against you. Recently, it became known that a company called Cambridge Analytica (CA) took data from a reported 50 million Facebook users and built personality profiles in order to serve people with political ads to “target their inner demons,” according Christopher Wylie, the former CA employee who blew the whistle on the situation, as reported by The Observer and The New York Times.
Facebook banned CA from its platform last week and announced it planned to audit the company to verify whether or not the Facebook data had truly been deleted, as CA had promised it had been years ago. And there’s now a slew of investigations being launched over the matter in the United States and the United Kingdom. But the real questions remain: How could Facebook know your “inner demons”? And what exactly does it know?
The truth is that Facebook knows a scary amount of stuff on you. Its whole business relies on watching what you do on Facebook, as well as tracking what you do on the internet via social media plug-ins (like the ability to “Like” a news post on a third-party website) and tracking the apps you install on your phone. –Business Insider
To find out exactly what the social media giant knows about you, log in to Facebook and head to a page called “Your ad preferences.” You can find the page through this URL, or by clicking on the small arrow on the top right of the blue bar and then clicking “settings” and then “ads.”
After scanning all this stuff you do online, Facebook builds a profile about you, which you can see by clicking on “your categories.” This is info Facebook shares with advertisers. Facebook uses this feature to determine things about your family life, where you live now and have lived in the past, and what kind of technology you use. There is a lot of information about everyone that Facebook keeps track of and then uses to allow advertisers to target ads to people who share similar interests
Facebook also tracks your location, meaning where you are and where you’ve been, using both Facebook and Instagram. You can tell Facebook not to share your information with some advertisers but the only way to have Facebook NOT track any of your activities is to stop using its services, including the other apps it owns like Instagram. It’s important to remember that Facebook is free because it makes its money by showing you ads.