98 personal data points that Facebook uses to target ads to you
Say you’re scrolling through your Facebook Newsfeed and you encounter an ad so eerily well-suited, it seems someone has possibly read your brain.
Maybe your mother’s birthday is coming up, and Facebook’s showing ads for her local florist. Or maybe you just made a joke aloud about wanting a Jeep, and Instagram’s promoting Chrysler dealerships.
Whatever the subject, you’ve seen ads like this. You’ve wondered — maybe worried — how they found their way to you.
(iStock/The Washington Post)
Facebook, in its omniscience, knows that you’re wondering — and it would like to reassure you. The social network just revamped its ad preference settings to make them significantly easier for users to understand. They’ve also launched a new ad education portal, which explains, in general terms, how Facebook targets ads.
“We want the ads people see on Facebook to be interesting, useful and relevant,” a Facebook spokesperson said.
But it remains to be seen whether users are pleased or frightened by the new information they suddenly have.
“While you’re logged onto Facebook, for instance, the network can see virtually every other website you visit.
Even when you’re logged off, Facebook knows much of your browsing: It’s alerted every time you load a page with a “Like” or “share” button, or an advertisement sourced from its Atlas network.