Most savvy Facebook users are at least vaguely aware the social media giant is gathering their information. However, according to many prominent privacy and security experts, most of us don’t know the full extent of Facebook’s tracking.
Of course Facebook knows which websites you visit, but it can also track your location in the real world after you download its mobile apps. This information tells the site where you shop, what you like to do in your free time and more. Facebook can also figure out your financial status by analyzing your online shopping purchases combined with your location and info from marketing partners.
Of course, since Facebook is a free service, it should be obvious where it makes its money — us.
“My view is that anything posted to a social network is public data, regardless of the privacy settings,” security expert Michael Bazzell told Gizmodo. “I don’t blame Facebook, I blame all of us for not investigating the companies that want our data. Facebook does not charge its users for access, yet makes billions of dollars. The users are the product.”
The lesson, as always: be careful what you share on Facebook. You never know how the site is going to use it. And even if you’re careful, the site might still dig up your info anyway.