Facebook Tip: Nothing Is Really Private

Just in case anyone still has any assumptions about privacy on Facebook:

A friend of my partner sent her a private FB message mentioning having a certain type of not-average medical procedure… and 24 hrs later I started seeing ads in my FB feed for variations on that same procedure, which had not been pitched to me previously.

Since we are both friends with that person, plus J and I are listed in our FB accounts as being in a relationship, this is an example of how FB targets ads based on what keywords they are seeing pass through ANY part of your account AND the accounts of people with whom you are connected.

This is also an example of what can be done while still probably adhering to a privacy policy. FB, Google, etc say that they don’t give identifiable information about individuals to advertisers – but I’m sure that use of that keyword in the message plus my being linked on FB to both people in that conversation resulted in my account ID # being lumped into a batch of IDs used to target an ad using that same keyword.

So again, a reminder: do not post anything on the internet that you wouldn’t want to see featured on the nightly news or in another public forum.

[Also check last week’s post on keeping your public FB posts private]

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