Skip to comments.Facebook looks to cash in on user data (silence is golden)
Posted on 04/17/2011 9:17:09 AM PDT by STARWISE
Profiles, status updates and messages all include a mother lode of voluntarily provided information. The social media site is using it to help advertisers find exactly who they want to reach. Privacy watchdogs are aghast.
Julee Morrison has been obsessed with Bon Jovi since she was a teenager.
So when paid ads for fan sites started popping up on the 41-year-old Salt Lake City blogger's Facebook page, she was thrilled. She described herself as a "clicking fool," perusing videos and photos of the New Jersey rockers.
Then it dawned on Morrison why all those Bon Jovi ads appeared every time she logged on to the social networking site.
"Facebook is reading my profile, my interests, the people and pages I am 'friends' with, and targeting me," Morrison said. "It's brilliant social media but it's absolutely creepy."
For Facebook users, the free ride is over.
Now the Palo Alto company is looking to cash in on this mother lode of personal information by helping advertisers pinpoint exactly whom they want to reach. This is no idle boast. Facebook doesn't have to guess who its users are or what they like. Facebook knows, because members volunteer this information freely and frequently in their profiles, status updates, wall posts, messages and "likes."
It's now tracking this activity, shooting online ads to users based on their demographics, interests, even what they say to friends on the site sometimes within minutes of them typing a key word or phrase.
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
I bet there isn’t a single WWII partisan, or child of a partisan on Facebook.
Just never understood the attraction of Facebook.....
It’s called cookies (tracking cookies) and your IP address, everywhere you go on the internet you get your “local” weather report, local ads, . No doubt Facebook is doing it deliberately, that’s why it’s advisable to stay away from it.
Free ride? What, Facebook is charging now? No, wait, they are selling ads targeted at people’s interests? Oh the humanity !!! ...magritte
Happens all the time. Not just with Facebook. I don’t belong to any of those kinds of sites, but I do belong to a few guitar forums. Whenever I go to a news link, say Fox, there’s always a guitar ad up near the top.
Most of them probably couldn’t see the screen.
like sheep being rounded up for the fleecing..
social media networking, my arse.
Further proof I’m not missing anything by not having a FB account.
That is why I have been using The newest version of Firefox, with a couple of ad ons that block the tracking, instead of Internet Explorer.
And what’s wrong with targeted advertising, exactly? Is it really any different from the Freepathon ads that appeal to conservative values and policies?
Well the FReepathon ads don’t follow me and appear on my weather page or other web sites I like to visit. I chose to come to FR and expect to see them.
I love my FB. It’s become one of my “Conservative activist” sites.
There are so many ads on the side; however, I NEVER click on them.
For me, FB is just another way of getting the Conservative voice out there.
I post things from FB here and also post FR things on my FB.
One bit of advise.....if you sign up for FB DON’T put your real info on there. Fudge it.
Also, for any FB users, if your FB heading just says http and not https, you need to correct that.
I was commenting on Youtube and made a mistake on my log on name..it corrected itself as a question “do you mean...?”
This is scary invasive stuff.
Not only that...
A few times, I have been browsing through other non-Facebook websites.
Then I notice an ad that has lists of Facebook users or whatever who like or dislike something.
And many times, people I have as friends on FB show up in the list.
The only way I can explain it (kind of a guess, but probably not far from the mark) is that whoever the site is that I am browsing, they have some Java script or whatever that is able to steal or peek at any FB cookies I have on my machine.
So once you have an FB cookie on your machine, every other site you go to has the potential of KNOWING EXACTLY WHO I AM!
That’s not good...
Exactly. Why place your real life in there? I don’t get it.
signed max americana: CIA super spy, SI swimsuit edition photographer and ghost editor for Penthouse magazine.
It is so bad that I only see conservatives adds on facebook now. You follow Sara Palin and people like Ann Coulter just show up. And no Democrats.
So download AdBlock Plus, if you really can’t bear to look at ads on ad-driven sites. But don’t pretend that using publicly-available information for marketing is some sort of horrible injustice.
All of the internet is invasive. If you choose to be on it, don’t expect privacy. If you want to keep yourself “hidden”, don’t give your real info.
You can have a FB account, actually several of them. Just don’t sign up with your real info on it.
I have become “friends” with many a Conservative because of FB. The more info I have, the more informed I am.
Create an account using a fake name. Game users have been doing that for a while to get bonuses for their games.
Libs Suk at Farmville sent you a request......
Moooshell Ohmyfatass accepted your request and sent a special gift back!
You’d be surprised how many people have their date of birth listed....then do silly games like I’m from ______, pet’s name, etc.....all info to crack codes of security
Very creepy but then, who sees advertisements? I haven’t seen one in years.
I have AdBlock Plus.
Amazon does something similar. A few weeks ago I searched for convection ovens, and ever since then I have received multiple emails from Amazon advertising different convection ovens they have for sale. Yes, they track your searches.
It’s not creepy, it’s demographic analysis. Advertisers have been doing it for ages. Why are soap operas called soap operas? Because their original sponsors were soap companies that knew the prime audience for day time radio dramas were housewives who were also spending time cleaning. It’s the same thing, all advertising is placed based on data that tells them people that like whatever they’re putting their ad in have a higher than normal chance of being interested in the product being advertised. Facebook ads just get the extra advantage of being place in a medium where the audience actually TELLS Facebook they are interested in the product.
Technically they don’t know who you are, they’re just able to redirect data out of your account. Same mechanism that allows you to share a youtube video direct into FB would allow them to poll your friends list and compare to their history to see if any of them have viewed it already, maybe even shared it. It’s all from that account linking, you volunteered for it, you just probably didn’t think through the implications when you let that site know you were on FB.
There’s a huge gap between estimating demographics of the typical soap opera viewer and harvesting personal, private information that was gained solely for the purpose of participating in a web forum. No personal data should ever be harvested without express, written consent.
If you fudge everything, um, who is going to want to be friends with some anonymously "fudged" profile? How would your friends know it was you for sure? Seems to me there would be no point to what you suggest.
No need to ping be again on this or any other thread.
Scouts Out! Cavalry Ho!
I friend them, that’s how. I tell them my purpose for not wanting my true info out there and also give stories that we only know about.
That is how they know who I am and understand my “fudginess” regarding my true info.
It also keeps anyone I DON’T want finding me, finding me.
The only “gap” is about 70 years worth of technology. The concept is the same, the goal is the same, all that’s really changed is the tool. They aren’t harvesting private day, they’re harvesting data you PUBLICLY and VOLUNTARILY shared. If you don’t want advertisers to use your FB likes to target their ads to you then don’t HAVE ANY. People did consent, they consented once by accepting the terms of service which explicitly discuss data sharing, and the consented again by providing FB with the information.
Let's take a poll as to how many people actually read the 10-page long, cryptic "terms of service" for facebook or most other web sites out there (not to mention the disclaimers written for software licensing). Problem is, it is written in such a manner that it deliberately dissuades most people from even trying to read and understand what's written. And it isn't written in plain, common verbage either.
Point being, most people have no idea as to what they are consenting. That situation is, of course, by design.
Interesting, which add ons, if I may ask.
Anyone who has a facebook account should know to check the address bar, and make sure it say https, and not just http. Yes, the s stands for security.
Firefox + Adblock + Flashblock + Noscript = surfing bliss
“...with a couple of ad ons that block the tracking...”
Which ones do you like?
I am using AdBlocker Plus and NoScripts. NoScripts can be a pain as you may have to allow content on some pages you trust and frequent - but it is easy to do.
since becoming a member of facebook is voluntary... I don’t see the big deal. Members also have the option of not “liking” pages or putting too much on their profiles... that would certainly curtail the fishing of data.
Me too plus flashblock; makes surfing more enjoyable.
You are right, Noscript takes a bit of configuring, but is worth it to me.
Internet Explorer also has private browsing. I’ve noticed a huge change and lack of temp internet files in my cache since I’ve been using it. I like it
And whats wrong with targeted advertising, exactly? Is it really any different from the Freepathon ads that appeal to conservative values and policies?
Uh .. I believe .. YES!
As far as I know and have seen, FR doesn’t invade your computer and track your browsing travels for ad targeting to you in personal emails.
Lovely .. just lovely... (clever FReebot .. LOL ..;)
Thanks .. Firefox got too glitchy, with constant
tweaks and annoying updates. I uninstalled it,
and my surfing experience with IE private
browsing is a whole lot saner.
Zuckerberg is a completely arrogant twirp .. can’t stand the elitist jerk.