How Well Does Facebook Know You?

On Facebook, you aren’t just a user; you’re also the product. A big part of Facebook’s business model is selling advertisers access to the millions of people that use the site every day. 

To offer advertising services that deliver a good value, Facebook collects all sorts of information on its users. With this information, Facebook ads can offer audience targeting that allows marketers to reach the customers that are most likely to be interested in buying their products, hiring their services, or getting involved in their cause.

But how does Facebook collect all of this information? One of the main sources of information is the user. You provide them with your name, age, location, information about your career, relationship status, and more without ever thinking about it. 

Facebook Delves Deeper

Beyond the information that you knowingly shared, Facebook has other sources of information. They collect tons of user data that helps to provide them with insights about your lifestyle, politics, hobbies, and other behaviors. This could come from the pictures and posts that you like, the ads you click on, the groups you join and different interactions that you have with other users.

They even gather information about what you do when you are not on Facebook. In this, they look at the websites you visit and the pages that you may use on those websites. They might even look at the frequency with which you visit different websites.

There’s No Such Thing as Privacy

When you consider the amount of information that Facebook could have about you, it might be a little unsettling. The site knows where you live, where you went to school, whether you are married, if you have children, and the age range of those children. They probably have an accurate idea of your politics, the hobbies you like, how often you go on vacation, the amount of money you make, and the list just goes on.

This is part of the deal when you join Facebook. Sure, the site can be fun, and it offers convenient ways to connect with friends and share our interests. However, allowing this tracking and information-gathering is a part of the bargain.

For some people, the thought of Facebook knowing all of this information might be a privacy concern, but there are some consumer benefits. If the information they have is accurate, they can then send you ads about things that really do interest you.

Facebook does actually make it possible for users to see some of the information that they have, and to edit the information to make it more accurate. If you want to know what Facebook knows about you, you can check and edit your Ad Preferences at any time. It might not be all of the information they have, but it could be an interesting look at what Facebook thinks it knows about you.


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