Sign up for Facebook
Facebook is the world's largest social network. Before you sign up, make sure you know what information they store about
you and how it can be used.
Facebook will attempt to
- Track your location
- Track all your phone calls and texts (who you talk to and when)
- Track much of what you do on the internet
- Log most of what you do on Facebook
With this data, Facebook may be able to
Guess where you live, work and spend your time
Facebook will collect location information related to you. When putting this data together, it can create a detailed
map of where you spend your days. Not every single moment, but in general. Facebook encourages you to share your
location in different ways:
“How—And Why—Apple, Google, And Facebook Follow You Around In Real Life”
- Facebook explicitly asks you to share where you live and work.
- They encourage you to share your current location in various parts of the app.
- They encourage you to “like” and review local businesses.
- If a Facebook friend tags you in a post with location information, your profile will be attached to that location.
- Facebook stores your IP address whenever you use the service. This gives them a good idea of where you are. IP
addresses by themselves do not give a precise location, but if another Facebook user posted a location-tagged
post from the same IP address (i.e. same Wifi), Facebook can connect the dots and know your location more precisely.
Guess who your friends and family are
Guess who you live with and meet with in real life
“How Facebook Figures Out Everyone You've Ever Met”
- Facebook users can add their relationship status and information about who their partner is.
- Facebook encourages it's users to use the service to create invitations to parties and other events. When you
accept an invitation, Facebook can assume that you will be spending time with the other attendees.
- Your Facebook friends can “tag” you in posts when you're at restaurants, events etc. even if you do not share
this information yourself.
- Since couples are likely to connect to Facebook from the same IP address every, it can be used to predict who's
- Similarly, since Facebook tracks each user's location, they can find out when two friends are at the same location.
Guess your political affiliations
“Liberal, Moderate or Conservative? See How Facebook Labels You”
- Facebook encourages you to “react” to news stories and friends' updates. This gives them detailed information
about your opinions on various topics.
- Facebook can estimate where you live, what you're interested in and who you meet with. They can also infer your
socioeconomic status (how much money you have compared to others). This is often enough to indicate how likely
you are to vote in a certain way.
Guess your sexual orientation
“Facebook may guess millions of people’s sexuality to sell ads”
- You may visit a specific dating website that uses Facebook's tracking script. This lets Facebook know that you
visited the website.
- You may attend events aimed at people with a specific sexual orientation.
- You may like or comment on content aimed at people with a specific sexual orientation.
- You may interact with people with a specific sexual orientation on Facebook.
Guess what times you work and sleep
“You can use Facebook to track your friends' sleep”
- Facebook logs your interactions with the service and with other sites on the web. They log
when you do something and
where you are at that point. Using this data, they can probably guess when you're sleeping (at night, when
not using Facebook or surfing the web).
- Looking at how your location changes every day, it would be fairly easy to guess when you are at home and at
Understand exactly what you're interested in
“How does Facebook decide which ads to show me and how can I control the ads I see?”
- Facebook tracks what you do and what content you interact with on the service. Whenever you “like” a post, comment
on a link or share a news story, Facebook learns more about what you are interested in.
- Facebook tracks what you do on many websites outside Facebook. This gives them even more information about your
- Facebook tracks whenever you click on a Facebook ad and can use this information to further pinpoint your interests.
Estimate what your financial situation is like
You should know that
Facebook makes money by giving companies, organizations and foreign powers the ability to show you ads based on what Facebook
knows about you. These ads may try to change your opinion or make you buy something.
Facebook does not sell your data. Instead they sell “access” to you. Advertisers pay Facebook and in exchange,
Facebook show the ads to the people who are most likely to be interested in them. Since Facebook knows so much
about their users, they are good at showing the right ads to the right people.
Facebook uses design tricks to make you give up more personal information than you may have initially intended to.
Facebook will run experiments on you to change your feelings or make you use Facebook more.
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