Tuesday, 20 June 2017

What Facebook Knows About You

Facebook

Model Devised to Analyse Facebook `Likes’

Whenever the advertisements on one’s Facebook newsfeed tends to appear unusually significant, it could be due to the social network giants being aware of you very well. The social network takes pride of having almost two billion users and provides a amazing amount of free content which has a tendency of keeping most of the users engrossed for hours daily. It intends to improve its efforts further in the near future by keeping the users on-site for even a longer time or in other owned properties of Facebook such as the Messenger, Whatsapp and Instagram.

Facebook is said to have accumulated an estimated $26.9 billion by way of ad revenue in 2016 by drawing out its massive troves of data on its 1.86 billion users in order to sell directed information to advertisers used to provide products as well as services depending on their particular preferences. There seems to be more disturbing methods wherein companies tend to utilise personal information. A model had been devised by researcher Michal Kosinski which tends to analyse Facebook `likes’ of a user in predicting information like ethnicity, sexual orientation together with political belief in creating as well as locating personal psychological profiles.

Facebook Most Appalling Spying Machine

As it was recently revealed by tech publication Motherboard, wherein an identical scheme was reported to have assisted Donald Trump in reaching the White House, on sending directed campaign ads which had appealed to individual needs together with requirements. Julian Assange, Wikileaks founder, in an interview with Russian news site RT, had called Facebook as the most appalling spying machine which has ever been invention.

 Assange had claimed that they have the most comprehensive database regarding people in the world, their relationships, their names together with their addresses, their locations as well as the communications with each other, their relatives, all being within the United States and accessible to U.S. intelligence. He added at a book launch in 2014, that each time one goes to a party, takes an image and posts the same on Facebook, you are being a traitor.

However even his organisation finds it difficult to refrain from joining the damage. Wikileaks tends to have its own Facebook page that seems to disclose the secrets of the rulers of the world. What Facebook intends to do with the data seem to be a subject of debate though the data it has is alarmingly all-inclusive. The following details will bring about an awareness of how much details Facebook can have regarding its users:

1. How much Facebook tends to know about the user, its family and friends

The source of one’s profile seems to be the on-site behaviour that covers the profile information one tends to provide, the advertisements clicked on, the events created and attended, items one prefers and the information that one has posted. All these behaviour tends to expose the age, gender, language together with the educational level, the electronic device one may utilise and how one would connect to the internet.

The post and the profile provide the details of your Facebook data footprint though the company gathers a huge selection of information from the other sources for adding personal information beyond those which have been significantly uploaded.

The user’s online behaviour together with the information from third-party sources are inclined to get mixed in conveying to Facebook about their job, whether the user is married, engaged or intending celebrating an event, whether you are a parent or expecting to be one. Moreover, it is also aware of who is in the family, how far they seem to be living and their anniversaries and much more.

2. Facebook aware of your finances and spending habits

It has a tendency of paying data brokers like Experian and Epsilon for added information they have compiled over a period of time in collection of additional information from government, surveys together with commercial sources like magazine subscription list.

 This conveys to them where one may shop, what is purchased and whether one owns a car. It also tends to be aware of the value, size, and composition together with the type of property one may be living in and when the said property had been constructed. Besides this, it not only knows what may be in possession with the user, but also what one purchases, on comprehending their tastes and when they would be likely in upgrading to some degree.

The financial information of the user is all taken hold wherein Facebook can forecast what one had invested in, or if is in possession of a credit card and if it is in debt, your net worth and income, together with details if one is a member of a credit union, national bank or regional bank

3. Facebook is aware of the websites visited and the apps utilised

The online activity of the user tracked by Facebook is not restricted to the social media site only. Should the user visit a web page which utilises Facebook technologies like Facebook pixel, then the publishers as well as Facebook can trail visits from the users. The information is utilised by the advertisers to craft ads for the individuals who tend to visit the website or use the mobile app.

 It covers any page with `like’ or `share’ button which informs Facebook where one could be browsing, any downloads of their mobile apps as well as any purchases done from the site or products which may have been added in the shopping cart. The family of apps and services of Facebook comprises of Instagram and WhatsApp which tend to add to the data record of the company.

4. Facebook knows the whereabouts of the user

The location data is utilised by Facebook to support advertisers in targeting individuals in or within a specific area. This detail is conveyed by the IP address where one tends to connect to the internet, the GPS as well as the location services on your phone, your check-ins together with the listed areas in your Facebook and Instagram profiles. In June 2016, debate came up when Facebook had first acknowledged and later denied that it was using smartphone location details to recommend friends, though eventually revealed that it had briefly done the previous year.

5. Facebook knows about your beliefs

Directed advertising utilised by the Donald Trump team before the US presidential election of 2016, had revealed the value of Facebook data in the political campaigning. If one mentions their political preferences, expresses a political leaning or like a page connected with one, Facebook has the tendency of utilising the information in presuming your political opinions.

 However, the company is not only in need of direct evidence. If the user like pages viewed as characteristic of a certain position, it could recommend you to share those beliefs. Liking Exxon for instance could specify that you are more expected to be traditional. Facebook tends to combine the details with demographic information to classify the users as substantial, traditional or reasonable.

6. Facebook knows your secret thoughts

The old saying of `think before you speak’ has given a new lease to life on social media where the fake security shield of screen together with the keyboard has given rise to several regrettable tap of the enter key. Recently it had been revealed by data scientist Vicki Boykis that Facebook tends to know what the user could be thinking even when they choose not to comment on it.

 The company can trail your typing in order to read your mind. Facebook tends to gather the text as it is typed by sending code to the browser which has the tendency of analysing the keystrokes and report the metadata. It comprises of deleted post, comments together with check-ins. The company has named these unpublished thoughts as `self-censorship’ and had earlier utilised the data in researching the human behaviour.

The overall incoming data amounts to about 600 daily terabytes if the estimates of 2014 of Facebook engineers tend to be precise. As per the calculations of Boykis, this could be the equivalent of uploading 193 million copies each day of the novel War and Peace.

7. How to find out what Facebook know about you

A board outline of information is provided by Facebook that tends to accumulate in its Data Policy though does not expose the complete details of how it functions. This can be found out by going to your ad preferences on the social network which comprises of profile information, categories of interest together with advertisers the user may have interacted with as a customer, a website user or by just clicking on their ads.

One could also hide advertisements regarding sensitive issues which you would like to opt out. Users of Facebook could also block certain kinds of ads by going to Facebook ads settings. The only means of averting the controls of the Facebook data collectors together with their partners is by quitting the social network completely though it may not provide you with a clean break.

 The data of the user has left an ineradicable mark and once the user tends to agree to hand it over they are no longer entitled to get the same back. However, one could download the complete Facebook data history as a ZIP file by utilising a self-service tool that has been designed by the company.

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