How Facebook Tracks Your Data | NYT
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How Facebook Tracks Your Data | NYT


Most people know that Facebook
has information about them. We submit things like
our names, our hometowns, our ages, our birthdays
and our interests, and we assume that Facebook
is collecting that data. But Facebook has much
more data on most people than they realize. Facebook can take all
the data that you submit and combine it with
data from other users and outside information to
construct a profile of you. Facebook uses nearly
100 different data points to classify your
interests and activities. This would include basic stuff
like your age and gender, but also more
complicated information like whether you
own a motorcycle or you recently went on
vacation or whether you’re a gadget geek. Researchers have found
that by using signals such as your likes
and interactions, Facebook could tell if
you were in a relationship or going through a breakup. Facebook doesn’t just
know who you are. It also knows
where you are. If you have location tracking
turned on, Facebook collects an enormous
amount of location data about where you’re going,
where you came from, where you live,
where you work, what restaurants and
businesses you tend to go to. And they use this information
to target ads at you. And location data could
reveal other people who live in your house,
even if you’re not connected to them
on Facebook. Now obviously,
Facebook knows what its users buy when they
click on ads from Facebook. But what most
people don’t realize is that they have
ways of tracking your offline
purchases as well. For many years, Facebook
has had partnerships with data brokers that
collected information about people’s purchases. So for example, if you buy a
burrito with your credit card, Facebook could know
about that transaction, match it with a credit card
that you’ve added to Facebook or
Facebook Messenger, and start showing you ads
for indigestion medicine. One of the most controversial
parts of Facebook data collection is a feature called
“People You May Know.” And this is where Facebook
uses many different signals of what it knows about you
to determine who else you might be connected to. And this is not always things
that you share with Facebook. It might be contacts
in your phone. It might be people who have
been in the same room as you. Facebook was using location
data to recommend friends. So it might have
been recommending people who share
a doctor with you or work in the same building. Facebook can also be
used to compile data about your political activity
like protests or marches you go to. In one case in 2016,
the A.C.L.U. found that 500 police organizations
had signed up for a service called
Geofeedia, which scraped data from social networks
like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to help
officers look for users who might be in a specific location or attending a specific protest. For example, Geofeedia
claimed it helped the Baltimore Police Department
monitor and respond to the protests after
the death of Freddie Gray. Facebook doesn’t just know
who you are, where you are and what you buy. It also can be used to figure
out what kinds of things you might do in the future. To predict life outcomes, like whether you will be
addicted to substances, whether you will switch
political parties, whether you’re physically healthy
or physically unhealthy. These are all part of the
information that advertisers love to know because it helps
them better target users.

88 thoughts on “How Facebook Tracks Your Data | NYT

  1. That thing about Facebook showing me people who were in the same room with me as "people you may know" is so true. I took my mothers phone to my school farewell and the next day it was showing her all my friends,classmates and teachers as people she may know. It was nice to know why it was so. Great video, answers a lot of questions i had

  2. anything free will be used against you. Those vip cards, airmiles, or shopping cards, used for collecting data about you. Everything free comes always with a price, google and apple are no different. Apply might claim they dont use your data but they still collect it. All those free apps you install on your phone or tablet, they know your email adress, your contact list, your location, and a whole bunch more data. Long live the information age where law makers still have not implement one shred of overall privacy protection law.

  3. So what? What’s the point? Even your neighbor, classmates, colleagues or your potential dates are collecting data.

  4. nothing of that shocked me. if you don't use facebook then it wont collect your data. easy as that.. tell me if i'm wrong though

  5. The "people you may know" section is creepy. All of the other social media websites like instagram do that too. Google has more info on us than facebook for sure.

  6. Please, privacy is a thing of the past. The only time you can expect privacy is when you are in the bathroom doing your business, and even that can be suspect. 🚽 🛀

  7. It's so sad that The New York Times only has 7000 views on this video. Cats get millions of views, an invaluable journalism outlet gets a few thousand.

  8. Facebook, selling out your friends, so Mark Zuckerberg can make BILLIONS.
    The government will NOT protect our privacy.
    #deletefacebook

  9. Oh, you touched on consumer information brokers yaay…finally some deep reporting into consumer data exploits… Now talk about Google creating the biggest crosscompany consumer data exchange.

    Oh…you made it about politics and black shootings. Nevermind. Carry on neoliberalism..as long as there's a black man in peril nobody cares about large scale hard to digest systemic crime. It's only bad if your exploits help republicans win elections – everything else is cool.

  10. At least we can scratch out the conspiracy that the government wants to track us. Now we know that they want our lives to be private as well as there’s. Facebook is gonna fall and a once millionaire is gonna be sued bankrupt, I can tell you that.

  11. Can somebody tell me what is the meaning of the last one, the future? Does this mean manipulation is part of it?

  12. Well everybody wants to be famous thats why they give info right away to facebook. Here in the philippines the more likes the more cool and famous. What a crooked world.

  13. Some criminals are so stupid they actually tell the cops exactly what they're doing. This is an Irish story from a few years ago (the gardai are the Irish police). He was caught shortly after the story was published. https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/convicted-criminal-on-the-run-taunts-prison-service-with-facebook-message-30541342.html

  14. I still don't get what's all this fuss with facebook. It shows you ads, period. Even the Rusian-funded ads were really lame. There's no proof those ads significantly affected voters' decisions (although a better made ad could).

  15. Obama Campaign Harvested Data from 100 Million More Facebook Users Than Cambridge Analytica
    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2018/04/obama-campaign-harvested-data-from-100-million-more-facebook-users-than-cambridge-analytica/
    Jim Hoft by Jim Hoft April 12, 2018

    Facebook announced in early April 2018 that the data of up to 87 million users may have been improperly shared with a political consulting firm connected to President Trump during the 2016 election.

    The news STUNNED the American media elites!

    The news shocked the political world and launched two full days of congressional hearings into Facebook practices.
    But in 2012 the Obama campaign harvested data from 190 million Facebook users.

    The media cheered the sheer brilliance of the Obama campaign.

    Obama Harvested 190 Million Facebook Users Data To Win In 2012.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eo_oSwZL8AE

    Where Was The Congressional Hearing??#WednesdayMotivation #WednesdayWisdom #Zuckerberg 👇🏻👇🏻https://t.co/W91bAiJmc9 pic.twitter.com/PO9fywhD6I

    — Jali_Cat (@Jali_Cat) April 11, 2018

    CNN cheered the brilliant strategy of the Obama campaign.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eo_oSwZL8AE

  16. Google is in the back whistling, tapping its foot slowly and looking the other way as it lets Facebook take all the heat

  17. I know Facebook is in the news more, but I know it's not the only company collecting information. I bet my Google file has more information on me than my family. The difference there is choice.

  18. The problem with this article is that is turns sensationalist when it does not address the anonymity of data. Facebook and advertisers cannot know who are the person the data refers to. This is more spreading fear than clarity.

  19. Am i the only person who’s never bought anything from facebook ads?
    I don’t even pay attention to them.
    So no matter how they use my data it won’t make me wanna buy sth on fb.

  20. Easy. Simply use ADblock and you will never have to see a single ad ever again, no matter where on the web you go.

  21. People blame technology so much but they don’t realize that this is their fault. This is a choice and your choices are reflected here. And if you got nothing to hide then don’t worry lol

  22. TBH, I never got bother with FB targeting ads to me. Some ads r useful, n thats great. If not, I just ignore them

  23. It is the fault of users not facebook, because users share every detail of their life. I don't know why. Maybe to impress their friends on facebook.

  24. Apple would make so much money if they sold their customer data. But they dont… That’s why they are the tech company to gravitate towards. Watch Tim Cook being disgusted by Zucks actions 😂

  25. Track means restrict your search experience towards paid ad oriented products, Google does that, I was only able to stumble on the software 6 years later and I thought there are no improvement in such technology.

  26. To anyone that comment about privacy they don't know how social media works! If you want privacy then don't post every detail of your everyday life! You have full control in your data! Be responsible instead being ignorant! This is social media every one can search you

  27. In retrospect, it might have been a mistake to give Facebook all of my personal information in exchange for seeing what my high school friends eat for dinner

  28. I've never shared much with FB because of the tales of sketchiness, but recently I tried making a new account (for business reasons) after permanently deleting my old profile about 2-3 years ago. Shortly after starting to set it up, I get a suspicious activity warning and the site asks me to provide a picture of myself to confirm my identity (when I have not even had the opportunity to set a profile picture). They ask for a few days while they compare it (to something?) and after 3 days of nothing, I try logging in only to be greeted with the message, "account disabled". Not even an attempt at notifying me. To progress this and actually obtain access to FB, I need to now submit a copy of my ID document. Never have I seen or heard of this before, so it came as quite a surprise and I'm still uncertain if it's safe to provide. Anyone experience the ID confirmation without trying to recreate an account?

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