(Mirror Daily, United States) – You must know by now that yes, Facebook is following your online activity, right? How else would the mega-social network know to feed your food interests with recipes into your news feed? Or that you’d rather not see your friend’s ill-informed status about taxes?
How else would Facebook’s timing be so perfect as to serve you with hundreds of ads for wedding dresses the same day you announced your engagement? It’s as clear day: Mark Zuckerberg’s well-oiled machine knows you and what you like. It knows if you’ve been naughty or nice and it would sell that data to Santa if it could.
Many users are bothered by Facebook’s practices, especially since the network keeps improving the ways it can collect information about you and how it can transform that data into money.
That bother has transformed into Olympic-level frustration on behalf of the Electronic Frontier Foundation following the recent announcement that Facebook plans to take target ads to a whole new level. Not only will the network use your “likes” and “shares” as source of data, but also target you through any page you access that has a “like” button on it.
In response, the EFF has requested Facebook to align to a “Do Not Track” standard, which means that all potentially profitable data would be kept away from the greedy eyes of marketers. But there’s a more practical way for people to hide their online data by staying signed out of Facebook and not accepting cookies from websites.
The only problem with this solution is that keeping this level of security in place involves a lot of time spent on re-entering data over and over again. Moreover, some naïve users who don’t care about privacy won’t even bother with this; but do companies have any obligation to these people?
Let us remember the old advertising saying: If you don’t know what product is being sold, then you’re the product. That’s Facebook’s case: how else would the company keep the network “free”? All the products and the services it provides you have to be funded one way or another, and if you’re not paying to use them, then someone else is being charged to use you.
In the end, someone has to click on the ads and pay the bills. And if it’s not the privacy-obsessed, ad-blocker user, it’s the naïve people or those who don’t care about their privacy.
Image Source: Green Dragon Connects