The latest in the Facebook/Russia saga…
I do FB ads as well, I guess I never realized they could be used to find racists!
The garbage I have seen on facebook lately is a horror show.
WOW. This is on a whole other level.
Facebook has engaged in that practice since at least 2011. But at the time, they denied the info was used for targeted ads.
Lo and behold, last year FB officially announced it started tracking even non-FB users to improve targeted advertising.
Many companies now go beyond just “cookies” (or even super cookies, web beacons, referral links, url text, color style attribution of links like blue vs purple to determine whether you’ve visited the page recently, etc.) and create a “fingerprint” ID based on browser configuration and computer settings (such as which browser plug-ins are installed, browser and operating system types and versions, monitor display resolutions and color depth settings, system fonts available, time zone, etc.) Here’s a testing tool from the Electronic Frontier Foundation to see how unique your configuration is (mine matches 1 in 300,000 computers in their database):
And this creepy (fun?) game was created by a Dutch Media Company to illustrate what info companies can log about your movements and site’s activity to infer your “intent” or focus. In this (harmless) simulation, you are the guinea pig
There’s a lot of room for abuse or misuse of this info when assembled in totality…
Mine seems to disallow the scripts for this from running so I guess that’s good?
Personally, I’m not terribly shocked - because I’ve purchased ads on FB before and while I typically use “people who like this page and their friends”, I’ve explored the wideeeee variety of options they have to target. It’s crazy. I showed some examples here on Twitter.
I stumbled upon once - where you can see your ad “categories” on FB (essentially, where you fall in those options). If you go to https://www.facebook.com/ads/preferences and go to “your information” then “categories”…you’ll probably be shocked with what you see.
When I found that, I had recently been looking for something online about Pokemon Go (I know, I’m a dork)…and I stumbled onto some pages with cheats, etc. I did not use ANY sort of log in, browser, etc or anything that had to do with Facebook…and yet, one of my categories I saw was “Online Gaming (cheating)”. Like WTF?! Thankfully, you can delete them - but STILL!