At this point, everyone knows Facebook and, probably, has an account on the most popular social network platform worldwide. Facebook has 2.19 billion monthly active users according to this study.
It’s a great marketing tool and companies use it to show their products and earn customers.
But do you really know what Facebook knows about you?
What does Facebook know about you?
Over the time you used Facebook’s app, it’s likely you clicked on advertisements, liked pages, logged in different locations and even shared your birthdate or your civil status.
Facebook knows all that information you shared with them, and more, like your IP address, the computer or device you use, the interactions you have, and a lot more.
There is a way for you to find what Facebook knows about you on your profile settings.
In the Settings section, click on ads.
Next, you’ll see a page like this
On this page, you can navigate through “Your interests”, “Advertises, you’ve interacted with” and “Your information”.
Facebook gathers your interests based on pages you like or you interact with. If you for example like a bookstore’s page facebook assumes you like books.
According to Facebook “Choose an interest to preview examples of ads you might see on Facebook or remove it from your ad preferences.”
Advertises, you’ve interacted with
“These advertisers are running ads using a contact list they uploaded that includes your contact info. This info was collected by the advertiser, typically after you shared your email address with them or another business they’ve partnered with.”
When you subscribe to a page outside of Facebook, Starbucks for example, they can upload your contact to Facebook to gather other potential customers based on your profile.
This is the public information on your profile, companies use this information about you to target their markets.
You can choose not to share this information for commercial purposes, by unchecking the settings as shown below.
They also put you in categories to know what are your preferences.
What can I do?
On Ads settings, you can also refuse your data usages to show ads.
Simply not allow these 3 options, and Facebook will stop using this data.
You can also hide permanently ads about alcohol, parenting or pets.
You can also learn more about Facebook ads here.
But that’s not all
What Facebook also has are some flashy and apparently innocent apps that show you “Who you were in the past” or “What type of cat you are”.
These are popular among the users since you take a quiz and then it shows you what you desired and you can even share that content with your friends.
What you probably didn’t know is that the chance this apps also collect your data is bigger than what you imagine.
Recently the security investigator Ceukelaire made a post on medium exposing an app that not only collects user data but makes it public because of a security flaw. The app is Nametest.com, a quiz app that gathered the users’ information.
He also made a video showing how that flaw worked.
Cancel apps data collection.
Like this app, many others may be collecting your data and you don’t even know it.
You can cancel these apps, by going to App and Websites on Facebook settings.
In my case, I don’t have any app active. But if you do you, then you can click on the app and see what data you share with it.
To remove them, simply select the desired apps to remove and discard them.
Be careful with what you share, since sometimes even when you remove the apps they keep collecting your data.
Overall be careful with what you share online. It’s a dangerous place and we never know where our personal and private data is gonna end up.
Companies sometimes suffer invasions from malicious users and see their customers’ data leaked.
Learn more about data breaches here.
Did you ever use any of those quiz apps with your Facebook account?
Have you taken any measures to comply with the GDPR?
- Yes (67%, 2 Votes)
- No (33%, 1 Votes)
Total Voters: 3