See What Facebook Knows About You (and sells to advertisers)

More than 18 million of us are on Facebook (FB), and for those under 35, it’s over 80%. That means millions of us are being marketed to every day. And you have to remember that you are NOT their customer. Their customers are the people paying them – and that’s advertisers. You’re just their product.

That FB readily and frequently sells all of your data and friends list became very public with the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Since then, FB has made it possible for you to actually see what they have on you, and it’ll be quite a surprise.

You can now go into your notifications, then settings and pull something called “your FB information.” I did that last week, and after five hours, FB sent me an email that it was ready. After 11 years on FB, the file was 14mb in about 50 different categories.

Here are the exact steps to pull yours:

Notifications – Settings – General – On top you’ll have Your Facebook Information – Download your information (just make sure all items are checked off) Then click “create file” and you’ll get an email that they’re working on it. Then a second email when it’s ready for you to download and view.

Ad interests: This is a long and complete list FB has of the ads to really target to me. These are the industries that will pay extra to target me because FB thinks it’s something I’m really interest in. If that were true, it’d be something I’m more likely to click on and buy. Some are legit, such as books, personality types, publishing, and anything to do with Arizona. Some are totally out to lunch: Continental airlines? One of the worst in North America? Reality shows, Virgin mobile, and dance troupes are out to lunch. And FB now thinks I’m looking for hair products ads. Wrong…but I didn’t catch why they think that until I saw that I had “liked” a post from a hair salon who is my client. That one click now has a dozen advertisers target me as interested.

Advertisers who uploaded my contact list to use: That’s scary if you don’t have your privacy settings locked down. In my case, they tried and didn’t get it. It’s a list of over 100 companies, 80% of which I’ve never heard of.

Comments is a section of everything over the past 11 years that I’ve ever posted on Facebook to someone. That’s pretty scary. It comes from my browser which I clean up regularly, but FB has it all and remembers it. The posts section gave me the thousands of people and every item they had ever posted on my page. That’s from 2,000 people I’m on FB with over 11 years…

Messages section has every note you’ve ever sent to someone, even if you deleted (unfriended) them. This is where you’ll find the painful reminders, and all the exchanges with your ex-spouse or the likes. FB keeps it to use keywords to market to you, just like Google looks through your emails.

My login history gives me the full list of every single time I’ve logged into FB. It’s down to second and which of my computers and what browser. Guess I can use that as an alibi if I ever get arrested to prove I couldn’t have been at the crime scene as I was on FB at the time…

The lessons, other than the shock of seeing what FB really knows about you is that you have to lock down your account. Spend the two minutes b going to settings – then the privacy section. Change the “who can see your posts and who can see your friends list (that should be “nobody”). Go to ads and click that they’re not allowed to use your information and lastly, go to “apps and websites” and select only those shown who you’ll allow to access all your information.

Finally, here is the article from CNN that gave me incentive to go look. The insights from their writer are worth reading:

George Boelcke – Money Tools & Rules book –

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *