We love Facebook. No matter where we are, what we are doing, we have access to the addiction of our life via laptops and smartphones. However, what we do not know is that Facebook has been storing different types of data about us.
We often come across ads on our timelines which are eerily well-suited to the need of the hour, as if someone just read our mind and offered us exactly what we wanted.
You may have wondered how these ads found their way to you.
The social network just revamped its ad preference settings to make them easier for users to understand.
So for the sake of advertisements, Facebook stores these 98 personal data points. Get ready to get the shock of your life.
6. Education level
7. Field of study
9. Ethnic affinity
10. Income and net worth
11. Home ownership and type
12. Home value
13. Property size
14. Square footage of home
15. Year home was built
16. Household composition
Facebook keeps ads "useful and relevant" in four distinct ways. It tracks your on-site activity, the ads you click, your location and device settings, your smartphone brand and the network connection that you are using.
Once you've logged into Facebook, the network virtually tracks all other websites that you open. Even if you log out of Facebook, the social network is notified whenever you load a page with Like or Share button.
Here are the other data points that Facebook stores -
17. Users who have an anniversary within 30 days
18. Users who are away from family or hometown
19. Users who are friends with someone who has an anniversary, is newly married or engaged, recently moved, or has an upcoming birthday
20. Users in long-distance relationships
21. Users in new relationships
22. Users who have new jobs
23. Users who are newly engaged
24. Users who are newly married
25. Users who have recently moved
26. Users who have birthdays soon
28. Expectant parents
29. Mothers, divided by "type" (soccer, trendy, etc.)
30. Users who are likely to engage in politics
31. Conservatives and liberals
32. Relationship status
35. Job title
36. Office type
38. Users who own motorcycles
39. Users who plan to buy a car (and what kind/brand of car, and how soon)
40. Users who bought auto parts or accessories recently
41. Users who are likely to need auto parts or services
42. Style and brand of car you drive
43. Year car was bought
44. Age of car
45. How much money user is likely to spend on next car
46. Where user is likely to buy next car
47. How many employees your company has
48. Users who own small businesses
49. Users who work in management or are executives
These points are good enough to make Facebook an advertising giant. In the second quarter of 2016, the company made $6.4 billion in advertising, a number that's up 63% from the year before.
50. Users who have donated to charity (divided by type)
51. Operating system
52. Users who play canvas games
53. Users who own a gaming console
54. Users who have created a Facebook event
55. Users who have used Facebook Payments
56. Users who have spent more than average on Facebook Payments
57. Users who administer a Facebook page
58. Users who have recently uploaded photos to Facebook
59. Internet browser
60. Email service
61. Early/late adopters of technology
62. Expats (divided by what country they are from originally)
63. Users who belong to a credit union, national bank or regional bank
64. Users who invest (divided by investment type)
65. Number of credit lines
66. Users who are active credit card users
67. Credit card type
68. Users who have a debit card
69. Users who carry a balance on their credit card
70. Users who listen to the radio
71. Preference in TV shows
72. Users who use a mobile device (divided by what brand they use)
73. Internet connection type
74. Users who recently acquired a smartphone or tablet
75. Users who access the Internet through a smartphone or tablet
76. Users who use coupons
77. Types of clothing user's household buys
78. Time of year user's household shops most
79. Users who are "heavy" buyers of beer, wine or spirits
80. Users who buy groceries (and what kinds)
81. Users who buy beauty products
82. Users who buy allergy medications, cough/cold medications, pain relief products, and over-the-counter meds
It is a concern how many people actually know about the tracking habits of Facebook - and how well they are able to evade it. Facebook says that it has been transparent on both the sides. You may have noticed 'Why Am I Seeing This Ad?' - and that translates to Facebook's commitment to user privacy.
Facebook allows users to opt out of advertisements based on their use of other websites and apps.
83. Users who spend money on household products
84. Users who spend money on products for kids or pets, and what kinds of pets
85. Users whose household makes more purchases than is average
86. Users who tend to shop online (or off)
87. Types of restaurants user eats at
88. Kinds of stores user shops at
89. Users who are "receptive" to offers from companies offering online auto insurance, higher education or mortgages, and prepaid debit cards/satellite TV
90. Length of time user has lived in house
91. Users who are likely to move soon
92. Users who are interested in the Olympics, fall football, cricket or Ramadan
93. Users who travel frequently, for work or pleasure
94. Users who commute to work
95. Types of vacations user tends to go on
96. Users who recently returned from a trip
97. Users who recently used a travel app
98. Users who participate in a timeshare
Now, if you are terrified of the nature and amount of data Facebook stores about you, there's one simple thing you can do to avoid it. Don't use Facebook. Well, that's a far-fetched idea and we have now the reached a stage where Facebook is the first thing we open in the morning and the last thing we see at night.
Does this sound like a paradox?
With everything we do, eat, visit is visible on the internet (remember check-ins?), how can we actually expect privacy in our lives?