Facebook Is Watching And Tracking You More Than You Probably Realize

from USAToday

Whenever you’re on Facebook, do you ever get the feeling that you’re being watched? An ad pops up that’s right up your alley, or three new articles show up in your feed that are similar to something you’ve just clicked on.

Sometimes it seems like Facebook knows you personally, and that’s because it does. It has algorithms that track what you like, watch and click on. Facebook uses this information to target ads to users on behalf of advertisers.

Facebook itself isn’t the only culprit. Tons of companies use Facebook’s platform as a way to track you. In fact, right now there a probably dozens of companies that are watching your posts, storing your profile information and more, without you even realizing it. Today, I’m going to tell you how to stop it.

More here.

Posted in Privacy, Social Media and tagged , , , , .

4 Comments

  1. In America, the topic of privacy is quite controversial as many could argue that their right to privacy is practically a joke. Nonetheless the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States ensures “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants issued, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” Despite this, there are various examples, including this article that demonstrate violations towards the privacy of several individuals in America. An article published by the NYTimes reveals that companies sell, use or analyze data to cater to advertisers, retail outlets and hedge funds that may seek insights into consumer behavior. Moreover, these companies justify their snooping by explaining that their interest is in the patterns of individuals and not the identities that the data reveals about consumers. In fact, they note that “the information apps collect is tied not to someone’s name or phone number but a unique ID.” Additionally, these app developers argue that the reason for tracking is to understand more about who a person is, based on where they have been and where they are going, in order to influence what they might do next.
    The main blog article reveals the various ways many apps trick individuals into accepting to be tracked and monitored, but it does not express why these app developers wish to track people. Moreover, it depicts the tracking of individuals in a negative manner that may not be beneficial. It becomes clear that there are various benefits and disadvantages of being tracked by app developers. Nonetheless, the disadvantages seem to outweigh as it becomes an issue of privacy because people’s privacy rights are being legally violated. In fact, an article was written by Chen, Brian revealing that “a voter-profiling company that worked Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign harvested private information from 50 million Facebook profiles. One would imagine that he or she would have to cease from browsing the web entirely or delete his/her account in order to prevent being monitored. However, employing safety measures such as installing software to block web tracking technologies and carefully vetting the apps one uses on Facebook could definitely help towards the prevention.
    While some may despise the idea of being tracked and monitored, it may sometimes be necessary. Sometimes, the violation of privacy may be justified particularly when it involves a state of national security or the lives of several others become endangered. Meaning that many app developers track and monitor to understand the behaviors of people. Therefore, it is possible that if people are plotting on participating in illegal and dubious activities, it may be beneficial to be able to track them somehow. These app developers make it easier to track and monitor illegal activities that happen all over the U.S. A recent article published by the NYPost revealed how Instagram is cracking down on selling illegal drugs by altering its algorithms and search system to possibly stay ahead of people who use the site’s hashtags to market drugs like Oxycontin, Percocet and others.
    Overall privacy is an important issue and one must exercise his or her rights to privacy. Other methods one may take to protect him/herself from data-harvesting apps includes auditing facebook apps/privacy setting, reading privacy policies, installing a tracker blocker/ad blocker and clearing one’s browsing data.

  2. Carbone, Christopher. “How Instagram is cracking down on illegal drug sales”. The New York Post. September 27, 2018. https://nypost.com/2018/09/27/how-instagram-is-cracking-down-on-illegal-drug-sales/

    Chen, Brian. “How to Protect Yourself (and Your Friends) on Facebook”. The New York Times. March 19, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/19/technology/personaltech/protect-yourself-on-facebook.html?searchResultPosition=5

    “United States of America 1789 (rev. 1992)” Constitute. https://www.constituteproject.org/constitution/United_States_of_America_1992

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