Talking tech since 2003

Ever since the recent data breach controversy on Facebook made headlines, people are faced with the dilemma of whether to make their personal life on display through the social media.

Also, considering Facebook is the most popular social network in the world and such news only add to people’s woes. Now it’s already a common knowledge that Facebook utilizes the data that helps in advertising various products. With that thought in mind, let’s highlight the things that Facebook actually knows about you.

1. Facebook keeps track of every link you open

While it’s only obvious that Facebook has all the basic details about you, like your age or your qualification or who you’re related to and all the details that you have willingly provided to the website. But did you know that it also collects information on your other activities on the web, like the information you offer to various retailers and online searches etc.

Even though Facebook claims that such information is gathered only to serve the user better. However, some people opine that this is a way to accelerate their profit.

2. Whether you’re a consumer for affordable products or luxury items

Your remuneration is not always indicative of your preferences. In fact, there are many people who have been living from paycheck to paycheck but still spend money on expensive products. Again, some of you may earn well enough to spend on luxury items but still, opt for affordable drugstore products.

Well, guess what? Facebook is aware of all your choices. It’s also familiar with your brand preferences. That is because Facebook is well acquainted with e-commerce portals you go to and the products that you are most inclined to buy.

3. Facebook has its own facial recognition technique

Have you ever thought how Facebook is always so accurate in suggesting who’s in a photo with you and asks you to tag the very person? The answer is quite simple; it’s adopted a facial recognition system that distinguishes each one of us from the crowd without fail.

Even the privacy policy of the website clearly states the integration of this system. However, Facebook provides you with the option to disable it. Go to Settings, click on Timeline, and then click the option Tagging and turn it off.

4. Your relationship status

This may seem an obvious observation, but the relationship status you show on Facebook is directly or indirectly related to the targeted ads you get to see on your feed. Aside from the information on relationship status, the social media site also evaluates your messages, the kind of content you like or share, and also the data on your Instagram to keep track on your relationship status.

5. Facebook can decipher when you aren’t at your jovial best

Facebook is also perfectly capable of gauging whether you are particularly upset or just had a hard day. This is one of the information that Facebook claims not to sell to the different advertisers, but it’s definitely an indication of the way all these social media metrics can be instrumental in making some evasive discoveries about you.

6. Your financial standing

Even when you are cautious about posting things about your financial status, Facebook can still offer insights into your financial position to encourage the advertisers. So how does that happen? Facebook combines various data point like your online purchases, your geographical location, along with records presented by its different marketing partners.

7. Facebook can trace your location

In case you log in to facebook through your smartphone, and you have your location service turned on, Facebook will automatically trace your location. This is possibly the most obvious thing that Facebook would know, considering pretty much every app these days ask for permissions to trace your location to let you enjoy the services provided by them.

However, what you must know in this case is that since Instagram is also acquired by Facebook, it derives your whereabouts from there as well.

You may have come across the ‘nearby friends’ feature many times after logging in to Facebook that suggests you add people that live around your area. So it’s pretty evident that Facebook keeps tabs on your location.

8. Apps utilized by you or your friends can provide information about you

Facebook can collect information from the third-party apps you use, and thereby offer crucial information to various advertisers. So the next time you proceed to open an app, check the permissions the apps are seeking carefully and remove the things you don’t want to share.

In fact, your friends’ usage of apps can also lead Facebook to collect several details about you. However, you can choose to change the settings to control the apps by deriving details about you.

9. Your political opinions are on Facebook’s radar

Social media has emerged as the potent medium for expressing individual opinions on different political scenarios, no matter how extreme they are. So the algorithms designed by Facebook allows it to decipher their political leaning of any individual user.

Since Facebook checks the activities, a person carries out on a day-to-day basis, it becomes clear what policies that person supports and the candidates he or she feels strongly about. This invariably indicates individual’s political preferences.

10. Facebook is aware of things you never post on your profile

The social media site also monitors the things you type but never actually post. However, the plus side is that it can’t really read what you have written. That’s because it doesn’t have the means to determine which keys you clicked. But it does understand when words are typed, how many are typed, and whether the typed characters were deleted. According to a study, 71% of the users type something on Facebook but discards it instead of posting.

11. It remembers how frequently you travel

Since Facebook is already capable of deriving the information from Instagram, so it’s literally a piece of cake for the social platform to detect how frequent traveler are you. If you actually live out of suitcase, then Facebook is likely to categorize you as a “frequent traveler” and show you travel-centric ads. So, if you come across ads with hotels or flights booking, or any other travel- related apps then that’s an indication that Facebook has you pinned down as a traveler.

12. Facebook is capable if tracing your offline purchase history

Facebook adopts a method known as “offline conversion” when it comes to tracking your offline purchases. It is possible for Facebook to gather data since it’s associated with many payment gateways. With this collected data, Facebook convey to the advertisers whether their ads are targeted at the right audience or not.

However, you can prevent it by using an email address and sign-up information that you don’t use while logging in to Facebook. Also don’t accept digital receipts if possible, as that could make your email address vulnerable to a retailer for further communication.

13. Facebook keeps tabs on you even when you’re not a user

In 2015, Facebook reportedly admitted that it had tracked people who did not open a Facebook account, and had claimed that it was because of a bug that they had fixed.

However, with the recent data breach controversy, the same issue cropped up again, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted to tracking the data of the non-users for security reasons.

14. Facebook will provide you with all the details of your dream car

Coincidence? Well, not quite.

Facebook has got all the information about the brand, style, and type of cars you’re fixated on. In fact, this social media platform can determine which car-owner is most looking for a new one and even the price they’re willing to pay for it.

Facebook uses the details acquired from their analysis to encourage advertisers who present particular ads on cars you would want to buy.

15. It can decipher whether you support any social cause or not

Facebook knows how involved you are with various social causes. Additionally, Facebook also remembers which causes you like to donate for, be it for children’s education or for animal welfare.

16. Facebook can track whether you live with family or alone

As has been revealed earlier as well, if you are active on Instagram and Facebook, then Facebook can easily detect your location every time you browse through the apps. The same thing is applicable to your friends and family members who are friends with you on Facebook.

If your family or friends are located in a different city, this means you are away from them.

17. Facebook has details on the kind of parent you are

The social platform is capable of deciphering whether you are a stay-at-home parent or a working parent and presents you with ads that will be most likely to interest you. This knowledge depends on the websites you check out, and the kinds of things you look for or buy.

18. It remembers your food or drinking habits

 Are you a foodie? Or are you an occasional drinker? Well, Facebook contains a plethora of details about your food preferences and your choice of alcohol as well.

Even though there are no solid details available on how Facebook gathers this information, but the fact of the matter is it does (likely through photos, status updates, messages, and other indicators). And the only possible solution to this is not sharing pictures or memes that indicate your food or drinking indulgences.

As a parting thought, even though some things are not in our control, but being sensible with our social media postings is the least we can do to protect our privacy.

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