Understanding the data Facebook collects on you
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (CBS2/FOX28) —
Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms are free to use. But they make billions of dollars by taking everything you like, post and share to build a profile. And that information is valuable to advertisers looking to get the biggest bang for their buck. It's a market Facebook dominates as the most used social media service in the world. They are also very good at collecting your likes and interest, leading some to believe Facebook might know you better than you know yourself.
"From an advertising perceptive, Facebook makes pretty much anything that you do online something that you can use to target an individual." Said Aaron Warner, CEO of ProCircular Cybersecurity. Warner suggests thinking twice before you post or share, because Facebook collects it whether you hit public or private. "I would tend not to forward anything you wouldn't want your employer to see."
Warner is optimistic that recent headlines will lead lawmakers to enact simple and sensible regulation of advertising access to your data. "People are upset enough about how this data was used, maybe that uproar can bring some sort of bipartisan support."
If and when that happens, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley would be at the front lines of the political debate. The Republican chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee. But before discussing federal regulation, Senator Grassley wants to see what else Facebook and others are willing to do on their own. "I haven't made up my mind on it, but it reinforces getting a questions like that answered." Senator Grassley told CBS2/FOX28 News.
As for Warner, he believes it's a long shot for Congress to take any action this year. And with midterm elections just six months away, there are still plenty of agencies out there looking for a political edge, thanks to your posts. Warner suggests users be wary of the groups they follow on Facebook. While Senator Grassley says maybe it's a good idea for someone to let someone read it before you hit send.
To see what Facebook has collected on you, follow these instructions:
1. Click on the triangle at the upper right portions of the page.
2. Select Settings
3. Look for the ads option on the left side of the settings page.
4. Navigate the different categories to see what Facebook has determined about your preferences.