Not everyone has the chance to give Facebook's 'Data Policy' an in-depth read. But when you do, you realise that Facebook takes a surprising amount of information from you.
Here I have broken their data policy down, to show you the 5 strangest ways Facebook gathers your information.
1. They can gather information from your messages
Be reminded that sometimes your messages are not a secret, of course, this information is not shared amongst peers, however Facebook sees what you are saying, tracks buzz words and may adjust your online experience according to things you discuss.
Their data policy states:
“We collect information you provide when you use our services, including when you sign up for an account, create or share, and message or communicate with others.”
2. They can see your battery life and your signal strength
Now, to me, this is a strange one. However, they collect this information to determine the type of content Facebook shows you. So, for example, if your battery is low or your signal strength is weak, Facebook would limit the number of videos you see.
In their data policy’s ‘device information’ section it states:
“Here are some examples of the information we collect:
Attributes such as operating system, hardware version, device settings, file and software names and types, battery and signal strength”
3. Every website with a ‘like’ button is used to gather your information
Every reputable website has those buttons at the very end of their pages; ‘like us on Facebook’ and every website that you visit and see that button, Facebook is gathering information about you and where on that website you are visiting.
This information will affect the adverts you see on Facebook, so its no surprise that after you spent half an hour looking at some Nike trainers, they all of a sudden pop up on your news feed as an ad.
“We collect information when you visit third-party websites and apps that use our services (like when they offer our like button or Facebook Log in or use our measurement and advertising services)”
4. Your payment information is collected.
This one sounds scarier than you think, this is probably done so next time you go to pay for something, Facebook will have your information ready, so you don’t have to insert it all over again.
Inserting your payment information is a risk no matter where you put it and Facebook probably have very good security measures in place to prevent hacking etc.
Here’s what their data policy says:
“If you use our services for purchases or financial transactions (like when you buy something on Facebook, make a purchase in game or make a donation) We collect information about the purchase and transaction. This includes your payment information, such as your credit or debit card number and other card information”
5. They know how long you are spending online.
This is something the majority of sights are tracking, they want to know what you like and dislike and they can do this by seeing how much time you spend on things such as blogs etc.
So next time you’re reading that ‘What was the most popular haircut when you were born’ article and you spent 20 minutes trying to scroll to the bottom without accidentally clicking on an ad, don’t be surprised when more of those articles start popping up on your feed.
“We also collect information about how you use our services, such as the type of content you view or engage with or the frequency and duration of your activities”