Facebook Knows More Than What You Remember About Yourself! Check What Personal Details FB Has & Shares With Advertisers
Facebook is actually looking into your data (Photo credits: Pixabay)

The Facebook data leak scandal has shocked everyone about how much of your information is being tabbed upon. It raises a strong question of an individual’s security online. Everything you do, the posts that you like, the reactions you give or the messages you send across are all recorded by the social media platform. To burst your bubble, despite having a privacy option, Facebook literally knows each and every activity you do, be it just on social media or even your other browsing. So what information you thought was private is actually available at the resource’s end.

Facebook uses your data to make you a consumer of products without you even realizing it. It prompts you with ads depending upon your preferences, choices, likes and searches. The platform gets its revenue from the ads, so that’s their way of making money, but at the cost of your personal information!

Here’s how to find out what Facebook knows about you

  1. Go to your Facebook profile and click the drop-down menu in the top right-hand corner, and go to settings.
  2. At the bottom, you will see an option to Download a copy of your data.
  3. Once you click it, it will take you to a new page. Click on the Download Archive green button.
  4. You will have to re-enter your password and the download will start shortly. The download may take some while as it is quite a lot of data.
  5. You will get a folder in your downloads. It will have all your messages, photos, videos, everything you have uploaded on the site. Your profile information, friend list, pokes, game requests, events all of these will be stored in this folder.

Know what Facebook knows about your preferences.

When you download the copy of your data, it gives you access to your activities on Facebook. But other than what you have uploaded or interacted, Facebook also knows about your preferences and interests. This is a major source of what the social media site decides to show on your feed.

  1. Go to your Facebook profile and click the drop-down menu in the top right-hand corner, and go to settings.
  2. In the left corner, you will see the ads option. Click on it and you will know all your preferences.
  3. You will see multiple options below which show your interests, advertisers you have interacted with and your information.
  4. In the Your Information tab, there is a categories option. It will show which categories you have added in depending on your Facebook activity.
  5. In the Advertisers you have interacted with tab, it also shows the websites/apps you have used, websites you have used, the ads that you have clicked on.

After scanning all your interests, activities on the social media, it builds a profile of you. This information is shared with advertisers. You can cross out on any of those but we are not sure how much it affects the ads on your feed.

How much ever you try, the truth is you cannot hide anything from Facebook. The terms and conditions which are usually ignored are misleading. If you think you are only at trouble on Facebook, then no. Instagram which is also a part of Facebook now, does the same. So don’t be surprised if you like some brand’s clothing on Instagram and see the same ads on your Facebook timeline. It is not really hard to guess henceforth.

How Facebook Messenger controls your data?

Facebook introduced the messenger app to let the user communicate with their friends on Facebook. But not many realized the many permissions this app was seeking. The Facebook Messenger application requires access to camera, contacts, location, microphone, phone, SMS and storage. Most people agreed to it in haste to use the application anyway. The application does have an access to your phone and hardware.

Since the app knows about your location, it also asks you to share it with friends. On Android, Messenger manage your SMS. Facebook uploads metadata so it knows who you are texting and when. One user even tweeted how the application was tracking his phone calls. The company can track your web history, the sites that you visit and place ads on your feed. Be careful about the application permissions and what you are giving access to!

So the best way to stop it, is reducing the usage of the application. Do you really need a separate messenger application for interaction? The recent controversy has proved the major loopholes in the social media site which is why we are seeing a lot of users deleting their profiles and information. Mark Zuckerberg has apologised for his mistake but does that serves enough for the information that is already leaked?