Facebook has taken a lot of criticism over the years for the privacy of their users on the site. It stemmed from users having a lot of information used that technically belonged to them – which they shared, and the way Facebook executed the notification of that collection. In simple terms, many of those individuals who felt Facebook went too far with their reach for information, or data collection, were even more outraged by the way Facebook explained themselves, or how frequently privacy policies were updated.
That being said, there are still a lot of questions, and at the end of the day – a few areas of focus that users should keep a close-eye on moving forward. Some of them are more basic, but others show just how far reaching Facebook truly is.
First off, remember – Facebook – much like real estate is focused on “location, location, location.” Recently, the social network began allowing businesses and companies to advertise depending on your location – instead of just targeting general ads at users based on things they do on their computer. That being said, Facebook made it clear in their old and new privacy policies that anything with a locating device inside of it – related to your computer, or mobile device – will be used to track your location. This includes the GPS on your smartphone, Bluetooth devices, and Wi-Fi signals.
Second, Facebook is collecting information from the other sites you visit as well. Essentially, any site that allows you to use Facebook – as a login method – is fair game. That means Facebook is collecting a lot of user information from third-party sites as well that aren’t affiliated with the company beyond login credentials. Don’t forget about Instagram, and the other apps that Facebook owns and operates, too.
Third, is related to ad targeting. Basically, Facebook can and will – unless you opt out – target ads based on your browser history, and will use what are called “cookies” to make that happen.
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Fourth, Facebook is monitoring and collecting everything. Messages, status updates, anything you create, share, comment, like, link, or otherwise while using the social network adds up to one thing: Information that Facebook has no shame about collecting and using for their own benefit.
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Lastly, is a new tool that Facebook has been working on for a while. The tool gives users the opportunity to buy things from other websites right on the site. Participants in this new shopping and buying system should keep in mind that their information is being held by the giant that is Facebook. That includes your credit card information and spending history.