Facebook buys data of users online and offline both

Published By: Ken Bock on December 29, 2016 08:49 am EST

Facebook knows more about users than they would assume, it even buys their offline data for advertisement purposes. The social media network is known to connect with friends and family like any other online platform but it also gather user information from major details to minor ones. It even monitors what the users like, the kind of content they watch, and restaurants they prefer. This is done so that the company can target the correct audience for its ads.

The social media platform buys sensitive information of users which even includes their income. According to ProPublica, the company has been requesting users to share their interests. The company even informed that it attained users information from different sources as well.  An executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, Jeffrey Chester, said that the social platform is not being entirely honest, it gathers numerous in order to target each customer.

Facebook was asked about these controversial policies and it responded, “Our approach to controls for third-party categories is somewhat different than our approach for Facebook-specific categories. This is because the data providers we work with generally make their categories available across many different ad platforms, not just on Facebook.”

Users are targeted for advertisement by the information the social media network receives from its own platforms and other data brokers. The company was previously criticized for showing a set of specific ads to minority groups. However, that kind of targeted advertising was halted. It is no secret that the minority groups were targeted through data attained about them through the platform.

ProPublica discovered almost 600 different categories that were described on Facebook as ‘provided by a third party and were defined as being generated through page clicks or ads on the platform. Facebook has worked with data brokers for a long time; it started this in 2012, when a deal was signed with Datalogix. This led to the FTC filing a complaint against the company that it had violated a consent decree on privacy problems. FTC never made a public response, while the social media giant signed deals with five more data brokers.