Internet

Facebook Knows Lots About You, Some Of The Things Are A Little Bit Creepy

by Baz Edwards
Facebook Knows Lots About You, Some Of The Things Are A Little Bit Creepy

Facebook knows a little too much about you. In fact you probably don't know some of these things yourself!

Facebook knows a lot of creepy things about you. Things you might not even know yourself, especially off the top of your head. Do you know the size, value and square footage of your house? Facebook does.

Ever wondered how, when staring at your news feed, the adverts that you see are somehow suited to your interests? Well its all to do with the data that Facebook collects about you. Once it has collected information about you such as your job title, interests etc, it then tailors the adverts to suit you.

Some of the information that Facebook collects off you is obvious, standard things such as your school, friends, age and home town. But some things are really weird like when you began a relationship with someone, when you plan to buy your next car and what type of car.

Facebook have now completely revamped their ad preferences website so that you can see the 98 data points about your personal life they use to target you with the right adverts. By logging onto Facebook and navigating through to facebook.com/ads/preferences you can see the sorts of things Facebook thinks you might be interested in. It also shows you a list of advertisers that have your contact details and the websites that you have clicked through to from Facebook. You can also choose to hide adverts from certain advertisers too but this doesn't necessarily mean Facebook will stop showing you ads.

Facebook also tracks your activity on the site such as the pages you have liked, the adverts you have clicked and the device you are using to access the social network. Other metrics include how long you might linger on a particular persons status, or if you read the comments under a video for example. These are all good indications that you like the content and that you'd like to see more of it.

All of these statistics have helped Facebook become a $367 billion advertising giant and has enabled companies who want to advertise with Facebook deliver ads directly to the right consumers.

So Facebook probably knows me better than I know myself but they are not the only company collecting data about their users. Microsoft in particular have been accused of doing this on a large scale in Windows 10. Personally, I see nothing wrong with it as people have to make a living, as long as users have the option to opt out if they want to. In terms of targeted advertising, I can definitely see the benefit in collecting this data, as there's no point showing your mum an advert for the the latest skateboards for example (unless you have a really trendy mum).

Checkout the 98 data points in the list below, some of them will definitely surprise you.

  1. Location
  2. Age
  3. Generation
  4. Gender
  5. Language
  6. Education level
  7. Field of study
  8. School
  9. Ethnic affinity
  10. Income and net worth
  11. Home ownership and type
  12. Home value
  13. Property size
  14. Square footage of home
  15. Year home was built
  16. Household composition
  17. Users who have an anniversary within 30 days
  18. Users who are away from family or hometown
  19. Users who are friends with someone who has an anniversary, is newly married or engaged, recently moved, or has an upcoming birthday
  20. Users in long-distance relationships
  21. Users in new relationships
  22. Users who have new jobs
  23. Users who are newly engaged
  24. Users who are newly married
  25. Users who have recently moved
  26. Users who have birthdays soon
  27. Parents
  28. Expectant parents
  29. Mothers, divided by “type” (soccer, trendy, etc.)
  30. Users who are likely to engage in politics
  31. Conservatives and liberals
  32. Relationship status
  33. Employer
  34. Industry
  35. Job title
  36. Office type
  37. Interests
  38. Users who own motorcycles
  39. Users who plan to buy a car (and what kind/brand of car, and how soon)
  40. Users who bought auto parts or accessories recently
  41. Users who are likely to need auto parts or services
  42. Style and brand of car you drive
  43. Year car was bought
  44. Age of car
  45. How much money user is likely to spend on next car
  46. Where user is likely to buy next car
  47. How many employees your company has
  48. Users who own small businesses
  49. Users who work in management or are executives
  50. Users who have donated to charity (divided by type)
  51. Operating system
  52. Users who play canvas games
  53. Users who own a gaming console
  54. Users who have created a Facebook event
  55. Users who have used Facebook Payments
  56. Users who have spent more than average on Facebook Payments
  57. Users who administer a Facebook page
  58. Users who have recently uploaded photos to Facebook
  59. Internet browser
  60. Email service
  61. Early/late adopters of technology
  62. Expats (divided by what country they are from originally)
  63. Users who belong to a credit union, national bank or regional bank
  64. Users who investor (divided by investment type)
  65. Number of credit lines
  66. Users who are active credit card users
  67. Credit card type
  68. Users who have a debit card
  69. Users who carry a balance on their credit card
  70. Users who listen to the radio
  71. Preference in TV shows
  72. Users who use a mobile device (divided by what brand they use)
  73. Internet connection type
  74. Users who recently acquired a smartphone or tablet
  75. Users who access the Internet through a smartphone or tablet
  76. Users who use coupons
  77. Types of clothing user’s household buys
  78. Time of year user’s household shops most
  79. Users who are “heavy” buyers of beer, wine or spirits
  80. Users who buy groceries (and what kinds)
  81. Users who buy beauty products
  82. Users who buy allergy medications, cough/cold medications, pain relief products, and over-the-counter meds
  83. Users who spend money on household products
  84. Users who spend money on products for kids or pets, and what kinds of pets
  85. Users whose household makes more purchases than is average
  86. Users who tend to shop online (or off)
  87. Types of restaurants user eats at
  88. Kinds of stores user shops at
  89. Users who are “receptive” to offers from companies offering online auto insurance, higher education or mortgages, and prepaid debit cards/satellite TV
  90. Length of time user has lived in house
  91. Users who are likely to move soon
  92. Users who are interested in the Olympics, fall football, cricket or Ramadan
  93. Users who travel frequently, for work or pleasure
  94. Users who commute to work
  95. Types of vacations user tends to go on
  96. Users who recently returned from a trip
  97. Users who recently used a travel app
  98. Users who participate in a timeshare

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