What exactly do advertisers know about you? Facebook reveals the truth.

Ever since the Cambridge Analytica story broke, the world has been frenzied over a fact that we already knew before this scandal arose: Facebook makes money from advertisers, and part of that is selling our data so that they can target ads directly to us.

As TechSpot explains, “In the early days of the Internet, advertisers were essentially fishing with a blindfold on – they’d cast a wide net in the form of a static banner ad and hope the product or service they were pitching would be of interest to a site’s visitors. These days… advertisers utilize all sorts of metrics to hone in on a very specific demographic … This targeted advertising is – at least, in theory – beneficial to both advertisers and consumers.”

Of course, the fear has become that advertisers will know too much about us, and that we have a right to privacy which is perhaps being violated. To help ease our minds, and its own problems, Facebook has shared with us just what advertisers actually know.

In a piece for Facebook’s Hard Questions series, VP of Ads, Rob Goldman outlined how advertisers use Facebook to reach consumers. The piece discusses three main ways your data is used.

TechSpot explains that the first way “involves information you choose to share about yourself when using the social network such as your age, gender or hometown. Other data such as posts you like or articles you read can also be used to build a profile about you. For example, if a bike shop aims to target female cyclists in Houston, Facebook can show the company’s ad to women in the Houston area that visited or liked a page about bicycles. In this instance, Facebook provides the advertiser with reports about the types of people seeing their ad and how the ad is performing but not personally identifiable information about you.”

The second method works by “the advertiser bringing information about a customer to them.” The example TechSpot gives is if you made a purchase somewhere online, thus giving an advertiser your email address in the process. “Facebook can find accounts that match that data although it says it doesn’t tell the advertiser who matched,” TechSpot explains.

The third method involves using Facebook tools to reach out to users. TechSpot says “if a retailer uses Facebook Pixel, they can have the social network show ads to people that looked at a certain style of shoe or those that may have placed a pair of shoes in their shopping cart.”

And what if you don’t want to be the recipient of this kind of attention? Goldman reminds users that they can visit the ‘ad preferences’ section of their Facebook settings. Here, “you’ll be able to see the “interests” assigned to your account and remove them if you choose, view which advertisers have your contact information and are currently running campaigns, hide ads from certain businesses and even disable some shared data used in targeted ads.”

Source: techspot.com – Facebook shares what advertisers know about you
Published: April 23, 2018