How Facebook’s New Policy Digs Into Your Data

November 20th, 2014

More than 1.2 billion users makes for a lot of personal data. But what does Facebook do with this advertising treasure trove of information? Proposed updates to the social network’s data policy sheds some light on just how a user’s personal information may be surrendered. Here’s a primer on the new policy set to take effect soon.

  1. Like us off Facebook? In addition to the stuff you share on Facebook, the social network collects information about you off Facebook, such as when you visit some third-party sites and use the services of companies that are owned and operated by Facebook, such as Instagram and WhatsApp, whose privacy policies may differ.
  2. A bird’s-eye view If you use GPS or Wi-Fi on your smartphone, Facebook may tap into those geographical locators to present you with relevant ads or offers in your area. Facebook also fetches location information from its own website via photos you share with friends and photos your friends share with you.
  3. Cha-ching Ever make a purchase or donation on Facebook? Facebook stores that payment information — including credit or debit card numbers, account authentication information, and billing, shipping and contact details — and may use it to sell you something in the future.
  4. Out of your hands A Facebook message from a friend may buoy your spirits but it’s also another avenue that Facebook uses to collect information about you. Same thing goes when another person posts a photo of you or uploads, syncs, or imports your contact information.
  5. Game over Third-party apps, such as those games you play with Facebook friends, can access your public profile but the information collected is subject to the apps’ own terms and policies — not Facebook’s. Information in a public profile includes a user’s name, gender, and list of friends, among other things.

The extent to which Facebook leverages your personal information for targeted advertising depends in part on the permissions you grant the company. However, one phrase in the new data policy makes this much clear: “…we use all of the information we have about you to show you relevant ads.”

Click here for more Terms of Surrender posts. And let us know if you think you’ve spotted a potential candidate for next time.

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