What Does Facebook Know About You?


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Facebook is one of the biggest social media in history, with an influence spreading across the globe. This has allowed it to collect a lot of information about people. Privacy experts are still concerned about how it stores and uses personal data despite recent improvements. Part of the data collected is provided by users knowingly. There is also information collected without users’ knowledge.

Where does Facebook get information?

Facebook collects and stores information from users’ profiles, browsing data, activities on the platform, and devices. It knows about your location, interests, political views, and sometimes even finances – anything and everything you’ve ever shared on the social network. It also has information about your activities when you’re not on Facebook.

Another disconcerting fact is that people finders can pick up all of this information and publish it, making it even more widely accessible. As such, it’s a good idea to use a people search site to check what’s out there about you if you have any concerns.

How much does Facebook know?

The social medium knows exactly what you’re doing on the network. Many people use their real names and dates of birth and maybe even share their phone numbers. The platform sees status updates, publicly shared messages, comments, and likes. By using it, you’re providing even more information.

Facebook keeps a record of who you send messages to and when you send them. It keeps track of the metadata of all files you upload. This is how they can find out your location. According to its privacy statement, its systems process content and communications automatically to study the context. This means nothing you do remains confidential.

Details about your devices

Facebook knows your device’s brand, what apps you’re using, your operating system, device IDs, stored cookies, Wi-Fi access point signals, accessible cell tower and Bluetooth signals, and more. It also has access to some of your phone’s default settings, such as information about your internet speed, time zone, language, IP address, and other devices in the network. If you have roommates who have profiles, you’re using the same network, so Facebook might know who they are.

Facebook traces your device’s actions. It registers your mouse movements to find out how much time you spend looking at certain ads or posts. Facebook stores details about your actions using its products and can use them for financial gain.

Financial information

On that note, users share their financial information with this social medium. For example, you might use Facebook to buy a game or make a donation. Your account, payment details (card details, account number), shipping information, billing information, and other data are stored.

The social network can draw a number of conclusions about you based on this highly sensitive information. It can rank you based on how many credit cards you have. It can combine this financial data with other information. For example, it might find out you are engaged and start showing you more wedding advertisements.

It knows where you are all the time

The majority of Facebook users visit Facebook only from their smartphones. Considering the people who also use it on the desktop, that’s nearly 100%. Facebook always knows where you are when you install the Facebook app on your phone because it knows your phone’s location. It gets this information from a number of sources.

If your GPS is on, it can show your location. However, the social app can find out where you are even when it’s not on. It gets a precise idea of your location using Bluetooth signals and masts, and Wi-Fi points in your area. Your IP address could also play a role in this, but it’s usually not needed.

It uses your location data for marketing

When you’ve installed the app on your phone, you can see your location history online. Your account will show precisely where you’ve been when you’re logged in. Facebook finds these detailed logs incredibly practical. It will know where you work, party, do sports, and live after you’ve used the app for a short period.

Your location could show the location of your children’s school. The platform will then be able to estimate how old they are. It knows your favorite shops and how long you shop there on average. Armed with all of this information, Facebook can determine when you’re most likely to visit these shops and use these findings for marketing purposes.

Photo credit: Thea feature image has been done by Focus Pocus Ltd.

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