General Question

Aster's avatar

What information about us is Facebook collecting and why?

Asked by Aster (19886points) April 11th, 2012

I often am prompted to “click” on my interests by clicking “Like.” And they list my “friends” who have already clicked on their likes. It will name tv shows, websites and too many subjects to mention. Why does Facebook do this and what do they do with my “Likes?”

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17 Answers

Qingu's avatar

Because advertisers want to know what you like, who your friends are, and what they like, and those advertisers pay lots of money to Facebook.

Aster's avatar

Advertisers want to know who my friends are??

Qingu's avatar

Sure do. Because if your friends like their product on Facebook, the advertisers will want to tell you that your friends like their product.

If you are logged onto Facebook while you’re visiting other websites, you might notice that some websites (or their ads) actually mention that your Facebook friends visit the site, and maybe even that they’ve bought certain products.

Qingu's avatar

By the way, if you are at all freaked out by this, you should really investigate your privacy settings. They do offer you some control over how your data (and “likes) can be used. Not total control, of course, but it’s something. Pay close attention to the stuff about apps. The default setting, iirc, lets your friends’ apps collect information about you unless you turn it off.

Aster's avatar

Thank you, @Qingu !

janbb's avatar

I never like anything commercial on FB or play any games or use any apps. They are collecting data on you so they can sell it to advertisers. Google is doing this as well. As had been said by others, if the serivce is free, you are the product they are selling, not the client.

marinelife's avatar

Marketing. That is how they make money. They can target the ads you see based on your likes.

digitalimpression's avatar

I’ve found that the best facebook setting for privacy is… well… not using facebook.

Keep_on_running's avatar

They’re stockpiling massive pools of information designed to make their company profitable by selling it to advertisers.

john65pennington's avatar

And, lets not forget that Facebook is loaded with viruses.

I have to run a virus check each time I leave Facebook in order to stop The Trojan.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I made a totally fake FB account that I use for looking up things or if want to go to a site to get a free coupon. I wouldn’t dream of sending junk to my friends. My fake account has only 3 friends – and they feel the same way.

Aster's avatar

^^^^^^^^^ that is most unusual, LuckyGuy. How you can resist finding old friends and posting your photos puzzles me, for one!

Qingu's avatar

If you get viruses from Facebook, you’re doing it wrong. Manage your freaking apps! And use caution and common sense when you click on links that people post on Facebook!

Rarebear's avatar

It’s funny, I really don’t care what Facebook or Google or whatever collects about me. I’ve accepted the fact that I live in a digital age where everything is marketed and targeted. Can’t get away from it.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I have no apps @Qingu and am still attracting spambot viruses (I don’t click on spam, either..just remove it)

@Aster They want you to like things so they can attract more advertisers by telling new advertiser ”Look Target has 2 million likes in a month” etc.

Aster's avatar

I am not getting any viruses. Not since I got my IMAC.
@SpatzieLover I think I won’t click on the advertisers anymore!

gorillapaws's avatar

There is a great quote I heard once. It is something to the effect of: “If you’re not paying for a service, then YOU are the product, not the customer.” This rule will always be true. I could easily imagine the day when Facebook sells info about you to your health insurance company, or to prospective employers, etc. I try to use Facebook as minimally as possible.

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