As you probably know, Facebook is one of the most popular social media sites in the world. It has been around for over a decade now and has nearly 2 billion worldwide active monthly users. If you find yourself always on Facebook, you can take my quiz to see if you are addicted to the site.
Facebook wants to know as much about you as possible and tracks the things that you like. One reason it does this is to provide targeted ads. But do you ever wonder how much information Facebook actually knows about you? Now you can find out.
Facebook uses an algorithm to track its users so that it can come up customized ads, among other things. It keeps track if you click "like" on something you see on Facebook, or tag photos from specific locations and uses this information for marketing purposes. The way you describe yourself on your profile, the music you like and your relationship status are also used.
Facebook can also collect information about you when you're not on its site. They can see what you're looking at if you click the "like" buttons found on other sites. Facebook even gets information from other apps like Instagram and WhatsApp.
Facebook doesn't stop at just tracking its users for information. ProPublica says the social media company also buys data about its users' shopping habits, car ownership, and even mortgages from commercial data brokers. Facebook then sells all of the collected information to marketing groups who use it to target specific groups of people.
How to find out what Facebook thinks you like
In an effort to help you find out what information Facebook has on you, ProPublica has designed a Chrome extension. The extension shows all of the data that Facebook has on its users. It even lets you rate the information for accuracy.
If you want to add the extension to your Chrome browser, just click on the blue box in the upper right-hand corner. A pop-up box will ask you to confirm that you want to add the extension.
In the past, we told you how to opt-out of Facebook tracking. If you decide to opt-out, it might still be a good idea to add the Chrome extension, just to keep an eye on things.