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How is Facebook Using Your Data

by DCirrus

Posted On 01 March 2019

In today's day and age, data is arguably more valuable than any other physical resources in existence globally. This is mainly because data can be used to know about your preferences and to, ultimately, direct the organizations who provide services related to your preferences to you although this data can only be accessed if you permit the organizations to do so. However, Facebook, the dominating social media platform, is known to collect detailed data about its users to profit their business further. Considering the number of Facebook users, the company has legal access to the data of its 2.2 billion individuals if you are eager to know how Facebook uses the massive data sets, the following details exactly that.


How is your data used?


The first thought that might strike your mind is "Does Facebook sell my data to third parties?". Although understandable, the answer is no; Facebook doesn't exactly sell your data. What the company does is it sells your preferences to these organizations. After all, it wouldn't be an ideal strategy for a company which is sought after for the amount of data to sell the same data and eliminate its usage for further profits. 

To better understand how Facebook uses your data is to take a closer look at your news feed on the social media platform. Have you ever noticed that there are times when you were searching for something specific on the web and then after you log in to your Facebook account, an ad related to that exact thing that you were searching for pops up? That isn't a coincidence. When you signed up for a Facebook account, you unknowingly got into an agreement with the company to share your personal information, from your age and preferences to even your browsing history and battery percentages. Owing to this agreement, Facebook can examine your history and therefore, post related ads on your news feed that you are likely to click on. 

The companies that you see in these ads are majorly those who have paid Facebook to gain access to you and your news feed because you're one of the customers who are more likely to pay for the advertising company's services. For every redirects and click that make on the Facebook ads, the social media platform gains a profit through the advertising company. Now scale that up from one individual to almost all the population in the urban areas of the world.


Can you see the data that Facebook has collected?


Yes, you can see all the data that Facebook has collected about you. To do so, log in to your Facebook account and navigate to the 'Settings' option. On the settings page, on the left tab, click on the 'Your Facebook Information' option. Here you can either download a full copy of the information that Facebook has of you or choose to navigate through data without downloading. 

You'll be able to see that Facebook even stores confidential and personal data of yours including the call logs and the contacts stored in your device. Added to that, you have actually agreed to share all this data willingly. If you scroll further down, you can also see an option that records and updates your location at all time. This data is mainly used for geo-marketing which basically means displaying you ads of the businesses that are located locally according to your location. 

Fortunately, you can choose to delete the call logs and the contact and also alter most of the data recording options. If you wish to delete all the data completely, the only solution is to delete your account from Facebook permanently