Like it or not, Facebook is tracking you

Latest, after Google, to join the bandwagon to track data to target advertisements to users is Facebook. Where do you go from here?

shivangi-narayan

Shivangi Narayan | June 18, 2014



Internet has been rife with debates, articles and arguments over whether Facebook should collect user data or not to target advertisements. But make no bones about it; Facebook was always collecting your data.

Those small ads on the left side of the screen? They were a result of all the things you ‘liked’ on the social networking site or searched for on your computer.

The tracking and the ads were always there. Except that this time Facebook is going to use its ‘like’ button to track users’ activities across websites, platforms (and everywhere), which have the like button embedded in them. If you connect to a website through the ‘Facebook connect’ tool, expect to be tracked there too. Your permission to be tracked has been automatically taken when you signed in for Facebook. You can opt out of it, but Zuckerberg knows that not many make the effort to actively opt-out from features on the site. A time of India report puts it at a mere two percent.

While the concerns for data privacy are real in this scenario, we shouldn’t forget that Google already does the same thing. Contextual advertising was something that Google search gave birth to. So your data is already being searched and stored by search engines for targeted advertising. For social networking sites (or any site) advertisements are the only way to make money. This might be targetted advertising or banner/pop-up ads.

No one wants banners or pop-ups. Neither the site developers because they ruin the user experience of their site, thus reducing traffic; nor the users because well, they ruin the user experience of the site. For Facebook to make money and not ruin the fun, targeted advertising is where it will have to go.

Once we accept that data mining is here to stay, apart from living peaceful lives, we can look at methods to reduce it. Go ahead, prove Zuckerberg wrong. Opt out from Facebook data tracking. Use browsers like Tor for private browsing. If you have Windows, disable cookie usage. Turn on private browsing if you are using Mac.

Go to http://www.aboutads.info/choices/ to stop companies from browsing your data. Take cues from this woman who did everything in her power to stop companies from mining her data

In a consumer society, you are what you buy. Which is why, advertisers need to target and make money off your buying. Hide your data; data mining is here to stay.

Comments

 

Other News

Sowing wheat earlier can help increase yields in India: US researcher

Yield gaps in wheat production in India can be countered with an earlier sowing date, says a University of Michigan researcher.   Using a new way to measure wheat yields, Meha Jain, assistant professor at the U-M School for Environment and Sustainability, found that the wheat yie

Giving birth as a Baiga

Kharpariya village, about 50 km from the headquarters town of Madhya Pradesh’s Mandla district, is like many villages in the region, home to the Baiga, deemed a particularly vulnerable tribal group (PVTG) for whom permanent contraception methods are banned to prevent extinction. However, care for p

Being the prime minister’s brother

Somabhai Modi says he remembers only one occasion when he offered his younger brother prime minister Narendra Modi advice regarding work. This, he says, was when Modi was chief minister of Gujarat. After one of his weekly grievance redressal sessions, the then chief minister had enquired after the well-b

Should ration cards not linked to Aadhaar be rendered ineligible?

Should ration cards not linked to Aadhaar be rendered ineligible?

INS Kiltan commissioned into Indian Navy

 INS Kiltan, the third anti-submarine warfare (ASW) stealth corvette built under project 28 (Kamorta class), was commissioned into the Indian Navy by defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman at the naval dockyard in Visakhapatnam.    The anti-submarine warfare stealth corvet

SAIL`s special grade steel used to build stealth corvette

Maharatna enterprise, Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL) has supplied defence grade micro-alloyed grade of steel (DMR 249A) steel plates for the indigenously built anti-submarine warfare (ASW) stealth corvette INS-Kiltan commissioned into Indian Navy.    SAIL’s integ



Video

Grand Diwali celebrations in Ayodhaya on eve of diwali

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter