Facebook collects a vast amount of data on it’s users; the site’s ad tracking uses this information to provide targeted marketing. The algorithms that power this process are a well kept secret – however a new chrome extension shows you just what information Facebook knows about you.
News company ProPublica have built an extension for Google Chrome that allows a person to see everything that Facebook says it knows about them; all collected through the various interactions that people have with the site.
The information collected by Facebook comes from a variety of different methods of data collection. For example, the sites can use what content of the sort of statuses a user ‘likes’, the locations they check into, the musicians pages they follow, and the news articles they engage with, in order to learn more about a person.
The information also doesn’t necessarily need to come from Facebook; information on other apps like Instagram and WhatsApp are added to Facebook’s trove of data, meaning that people don’t necessarily need to use the Facebook app to do something in order for Facebook to learn it about them.
Some of the data doesn’t even come from your interaction with Facebook-affiliated sites at all. According to reports, Facebook buys data about its users’ mortgages, car ownership and shopping habits from some of the biggest commercial data brokers, meaning that even the most wary privacy-seekers are unlikely to be able to keep their information secret from the social media giant.
Fancy learning what Mark Zuckerberg’s creation knows about you? Try the Chrome extension out here.