Facebook is now turning its ‘like’ button into a Trojan horse, where publishers give their data to Facebook, or lose valuable traffic. Facebook doesn’t charge users because it makes money by selling access to demographics of users. This often results in advertising that seems to “follow you around,” which can feel intrusive.

If you are someone who is concerned about your privacy, here are 5 things which you should keep in mind before hitting the ‘like’ button:

 

  1. Facebook has officially declared that it will be tracking your online consumption and behaviour on Facebook, and off Facebook too, to serve you more targeted ads.

  2. Facebook will track you across any website you visit, as long as the site has a ‘like’ button, a Facebook login, or any Facebook code.

  3. Facebook is aiming to build a bank of data to help target advertising better. The raw data is processed by big data brokers like Acxiom and Datalogix to develop profiles of users, which are then made available to advertisers.

  4. The major issue is that users are not asked if they consent to being tracked, ie, there is an automatic opt-in process, instead of this being a manual opt-in process where users can choose to allow this to happen or not.

  5.  The intelligence agencies have had access to electronic communications and data stored by the internet giants, which have become a major concern for the people as it violates  rights.

Here’s an example, Suppose you regularly surf sites that discuss fashion and accessories. You will be profiled as a fashion geek, and advertisers interested in fashion geeks will be able to serve ads to you on Facebook. Facebook doesn’t charge users because it makes money by selling access to demographics of users. This often results in advertising that seems to “follow you around,” which can feel intrusive.

Facebook has offered a way for consumers to opt-out, similar to Google’s options for opting out. But very few know about this and fewer still use it.

How to stop Facebook and Google from tracking you:

Follow these short steps below to stop Facebook and Google from tracking you around the web. Of course, this doesn’t stop them from following what you do on their sites, but it stops them from tracking you across the internet.

1. Open the website http://www.aboutads.info/choices/

2. The tool will list all companies that are tracking you to serve ads

3. Select the ones you want to stop (or select all)

4. Click “Submit my choices

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