Facebook has access to an unprecedented amount of our data, and it uses it well: the company makes a majority of its revenue from advertisers, who can take advantage of your info to target you. This is an undeniably creepy phenomenon, though most of us simply accept it as the price we pay to use the platform. However, one reporter from WIRED wasn’t satisfied, and set out to prevent Facebook from ever learning about his unborn child. Depressingly, though not surprisingly, he failed.
According to writer James Temperton, he set out to stop Facebook and other tech companies from learning about his child in order to allow it to one day develop its own online identity, as well as to dodge constant ads for baby products. Most importantly, he wanted to control something he said felt “deeply personal.” However, he soon discovered that it’s almost impossible to complete a transaction online without giving up your data. Simply by sending emails about his child, searching for baby-related topics and buying those products, companies like Facebook were able to glean everything they wanted to know about his baby.
“This was our child, but for search engines, social networks and data brokers it was an opportunity to aggressively target us,” Temperton wrote in WIRED. “Don’t want that? Tough. Your unborn child has no clue what the Internet is, but like each and every one of us, it is also the product.”
This is a troubling conclusion, but it’s true: if you use the Internet at all, it has become virtually impossible to keep a low profile.