What Does Facebook Know About You?

What does Facebook know about you? I think the question should be, what does Facebook not know about you? Facebook knows more about your life than most users can realize or even want to begin to comprehend. This social media account aggressively advertises and goes to great lengths in order to track their users across the web. A user doesn’t even have to have Facebook open on their computer and their software will still track their movements. As users shop online to different stores, Facebook uses cookies in order to track what websites they are interested in, and will then create advertisements on the Facebook News Feed the next time the user scrolls through. Creepy right? I think so.

Facebook doesn’t just know what kind of stores and clothes you like, but much more. Facebook tracks a user’s ‘activity on the site, personal devices, and their location settings. This way, they can tell if a user just had a baby, just returned from vacation, just got married, or just got into a relationship.

It’s amazing how much Facebook knows about their user, but at what point does it start to get creepy? More and more technology is coming out that is getting creepy. In IST class, we talked about technology that can track you sleep and nutrition patterns, so it can tell you when it’s time to eat, workout, sleep, etc. At what point does this get creepy?



8 thoughts on “What Does Facebook Know About You?

  1. This is really interesting, this post along with our previous homework has really helped me to see how much Facebook really monitors us. I think the idea about Facebook still tracking our clicking even if we are not using the application seems interesting. I never really knew this was a thing until I read this post. However, since reading this post I decided to see if this is a real thing. In fact, it is….. which is a bit creepy. I do not use Facebook very frequently therefore I wouldn’t expect the ads on my news feed to be present, however I noticed the complete opposite. I went onto my Facebook page after doing some shopping on Lulu Lemon, and all of the ads on my feed were related to Lulu Lemon. This creeped me out so I did some more research on how Facebook is able to do this. I found that Facebook denies claims about watching our clicking while logged off the site, however some research shows the complete opposite. Facebook is able to track our clicking through any third-party site that uses a “like” button or is connected to Facebook in any way. In addition, Facebook is able to track us through “Open Graph-enabled social web apps” which all send information to Facebook. Therefore, Facebook knows when you are listening to music, reading an article, or using the app. Facebook is also able to post something onto your account whether you want it to or not. I think this is super creepy, and lately I have been seeing more and more apps that give the option of “logging in with Facebook”. I chose this option for even a grocery shopping site, so Facebook is able to track more and more each day. Here’s a link to a site that tells a bit more information about how Facebook tracks our clicks and ways to stop it.

  2. Technology today makes issues like this so common for everyone. Location services make every single person’s whereabouts known to the world at all times. As an advertising major, I know far too much about Big Data and the intrusive work companies do in order to know as much as they can about their consumer. Every single click you make online allows companies to know more and more about you, giving them more information about what you like, dislike, what brand of clothing you like and what shoes you wear.
    There is so much good and bad about the information companies can get about you and how easily they can obtain it. This knowledge does help online shopping and ads incredibly tailored to what each individual person likes. However, it feels highly intrusive when my laptop pops up ads about a brand that I briefly scrolled over on my phone earlier that day. You have to be careful with every move you make on the internet at all times. The article below is about Big Data, describes what it is and how it affects every person day to day.


  3. I think certain knowledge about the users may seem creepy at first but can be really helpful. I was very surprised when I see those shopping websites’ advertisements on Facebook and Instagram which I just literally browsed 5 minutes ago. But I found them pretty helpful when I forget about something I need to purchase or when I forget about the website’s names. I also found out that social media are “smart” enough to give you ads on similar stores you’ve visited or similar items you’ve browsed or purchased. However, while this knowledge provides some convenience, there should be limits on what is to be revealed to the public and other companies. In my opinion, as long as my personal information is not revealed to untrusted sources by Facebook and the ads do not affect my life negatively, I will be comfortable with it. I just do not want to have scam calls on me with all my personal information in hand. In fact, not only social media, tickets/hotel retailing websites like Expedia raises the price when you click on particular flights or hotel more than once. So I recommend when purchasing them online, use a incognito window to hide your location and identity.

  4. It is not surprising for me that Facebook knows almost everything about us. I did not know that Facebook showed ads based on our online activity but I did notice that there were a lot of ads based on things that I’ve interacted with before, such as off-campus housing. I don’t think it’s creepy because by signing up to be a part of the Facebook network, you’re agreeing to the terms and conditions that they laid out (which you probably didn’t read).
    If you do not want certain things tracked, you can go into the settings to change whatever necessary.
    I also believe that it’s not creepy when technology tracks the things you do because you’re allowing that to happen. For example, a technology that tracks when you come home so that the thermometer can adjust itself or when you eat so that the AI can remind you to keep a healthy diet and when to eat.
    Deciding how much is being tracked and shown is all up to the user.

  5. In my opinion, this type of smart technology becomes creepy when the site is benefitting itself more than it is benefiting the user. After learning about all of this in class, I really wish I didn’t know the extent to which our technology is “watching us”. This reminds me of something I have been noticing with my Instagram feed. It’s already obvious that sites like Facebook and Instagram utilize my Google searches to provide identical ads for products that I shop for within their apps. I am honestly fine with this. At first, it was super creepy, but then I got used to it; however, something I have been noticing is that I will get Instagram ads for things I have never looked up, but have talked about out loud with my phone in my hand. For example, I was talking to my friend about peanut butter and got an ad on Instagram the same day for peanut butter. I wouldn’t be surprised if this isn’t a coincidence and that our phones actually listen to us. Now that we have the “Hey Siri” feature where Siri will automatically activate when you say that, doesn’t it have to be listening at all times? It sounds like some type of conspiracy theory, but I’m not the only one who thinks this! Check out the link below.

  6. At the beginning of this class, I really never kept my eye on how much internet companies are actually using your data and what they are displaying on your screen. I never really thought much into it because I never thought about my personal security and how sometimes everything is out there. But ever since I started this class and learning about how my data is being shared amongst companies, it has become a lot more obvious to me. One of the things that I realized most recently is I have been looking for vacations for at the end of the school year. I was on my computer and a couple hours later I decided to go on Facebook. When I opened it on my computer, the first thing that popped up was an ad for a hotel that I was looking at earlier. It amazed me that in matter of no time, that information was able to be translated over to Facebook, in order for me to continue thinking about my most recent searches. A lot of the social media that I use I have began to realize this more and more. Everything we do on the internet is connected in some sort of way.

  7. I think there should definitely be a limit to how much of our lives we publicize on social networks like Facebook. I don’t really think that Facebook knowing what stores I like or topics that I’m interested in is the worst thing in the world but when it knows every step I take then thats taking it too far. I personally feel that the concept of “checking in” places can be dangerous because at that moment then people can track your location. Also when people will post about being away on vacation or something of the sort they then can become a target for kidnapping. A friend of my moms is very active on Facebook and posted that she and her family would be traveling for the upcoming week and when she returned she found her home had been broken into since she posted that no one would be there. Exposing too much of your private life is definitely not the wisest.

  8. This is one of those things that you hear all the time: “Facebook is tracking us” “Facebook knows everything”. While this is true, this is not new. I feel as though our society is now noticing everything because when they search on another browser something, we realize it then pops up on the side of our Facebook or appears in an advertisement on Instagram or suggested video on youtube. This worries me but I also feel like it drives the market. In a sense, it does help you. Yes, it does trap us in an echo chamber, however, why would you want to see things you aren’t interested in? If you’re a 15 year old girl I don’t think you would want to see all of your advertisements about life insurance or car rentals, you want to see clothing and games. Just the other day I found an advertisement on Facebook with all the clothes i love to buy, I just ordered from that website and I love it now and told all of my friends. So yes, while this is scary and confusing and honestly creepy, in a sense I feel as though it has shaped our society to reenforce everything I know and love.

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