What companies and consumers should know (and gain) for their protection
Facebook's ability to view your personal information has always been a hot topic on the news since Cambridge Analytica was deemed misused for coordinated political advertising.
As a result of the investigation on April 4, 2018, Facebook shared a draft of its updated data policy.
Some things that have been mentioned in the publication may be new to users. Did you know that a user who clicks the Like button on a business Facebook page gains access to that user's personal profile?
Depending on the privacy settings of the user, the company may see very little or absolutely everything. For many casual social media users, this has been worrying as most have seldom reviewed the small print in the privacy agreement or even their own privacy settings.
It's easy to see what data they can see, and many people forget what they've seen on their Facebook profile over the years.
You can easily download your own data. Here are the steps listed (this is also good if you want to make a backup of old images that you have shared).
- Log in to Facebook, go to the upper right corner and click Dropdown arrow ;
- click The settings;
- click Your Facebook information;
- Go to Download your information and click View;
- Select your options and then click Create file.
Then you will receive a link to your e-mail where you can download all your profile data. You can see every conversation, every picture and more!
So far, Facebook has 98 personal data points in your profile that companies can use to target their advertising.
Facebook ad targeting
Facebook uses this information for targeting to ensure that users see ads that are relevant and interesting to them based on their profile information. We use this data constantly to create ads for our customers who want to get the right message in front of the right people.
Here are just a few of the targeting options that Facebook advertisers can use to share your information:
- Geographical location
- Main language spoken
- Last completed education
- School or college you have visited
- Income and property
- Home ownership and type
- Estimated value of your home
- Lot Size
- Square footage of the house
- Year home was built
- Size of the household
- And countless others …
What advertisers can take from this data
Let's look at the other types of data companies can derive based on your Facebook profile. There is still much to do, so we will only look at the more basic ones.
- Information about your personal interests. You can see all the groups in which you are a member. That tells a lot about you. In April, Facebook made several changes to the API that allow access to third-party apps, including restricting access to groups and exclusion of the guest list from the Event API.
- The contact information in your personal profile may include your e-mail address, your telephone number, and your full name.
- A permanent record of who you deleted from your Facebook group. If you delete something from Facebook, it will not be publicly visible, but that does not mean that the information just disappears. Facebook retains this data, although it is nowhere visible on its platform.
- Facebook records exactly when you have logged into Facebook and when you sign up.
- Facebook advertisers have access to all the information about you. That way, they can serve ads based on your interests, age, geographic location, behavior, and more, so they can run ads that match your preferences.
- Data is collected about which ads you click, which device you use, and what type of Internet connection you use. They know every page and post "Like" and "Share".
- Milestones. Facebook records birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, and other important milestones you celebrate.
- Employment information. If you enter this in Facebook, it will be
The truth about your privacy
If you're concerned about your privacy settings on Facebook, you can adjust your settings to limit the amount of shared data and see which apps have been authorized by third parties. Facebook provides instructions for customizing these settings for all users who care about their privacy.
Should you be worried? Not really.
All this was blown up from the beginning because Cambridge Analytica was singled out and the argument was completely political.
The truth is that (and this is something that anyone who works in SEO and social media already knew) everyone, from political parties to apparel manufacturers to perhaps even your own business, has used targeted ad data.
It's what Facebook has kept free and Facebook is far from being alone. Everywhere and everywhere data is collected! Whenever you use a loyalty card, gift card, or even a credit card, etc., data is stored and used for targeted advertising and more. What Facebook and every other social media channel and every other social media app you use on your smartphone do is standard.
Introduction to Social Media Data Mining
Instead of being overly concerned and closing down your social media profiles, we encourage you to take advantage of the opportunities this data offers you as a business owner.
When Facebook was first released, it was completely free and ad-free, but by invitation only. And seeing how it has changed and how the entire industry has grown makes it a lot less scary and a lot more fun.