(NaturalNews) If you’re one of the millions of people who have a love/hate relationship with Facebook, there are now even more reasons for hating the immensely successful social media giant.
You probably know that Facebook collects and stores your personal data and preferences to form a profile that it uses to generate advertising content targeted directly at you. But did you know that Facebook also looks at all the other websites you visit and stores that data, too? Facebook also collects your online search data along with some of the details you give to retailers when you purchase something.
Facebook and the data brokers
Zuckerberg and his Facebook shareholders make huge amounts of money by partnering with what are known as “data brokers.”
Bruce Schneier, a data security expert, defines data brokers as entities which:
“collect demographic information: names, addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, gender, age, marital status, presence and ages of children in household, education level, profession, income level, political affiliation, cars driven, and information about homes and other property. They collect lists of things you’ve purchased, when you’ve purchased them, and how you paid for them. They keep track of deaths, divorces, and diseases in your family. They collect everything about what you do on the Internet.”
This information is used to target advertising to individuals, but many see it as an illegal invasion of privacy. One of the charges against Facebook is that it deliberately tries to hide the extent of its data mining. Very few people actually read the terms and conditions when they sign up to Facebook, and even those who do typically don’t have a real understanding of what the privacy policies actually mean.
“Opting out” is difficult and basically futile
Facebook claims that its users can opt out of its data-mining practices, but it’s difficult to do so, and, according to data security experts, it doesn’t make much difference if you do.
As a piece on the Sherbit Blog points out:
A ‘note’ on the ‘Facebook and Privacy’ page attempts to comfort users by insisting that “the process is designed so that no personal information is exchanged between Facebook and marketers (or the third parties those marketers work with).” But the truth of the situation is that the ‘data brokers’ already own your personal information–and their collaboration with the social network may allow them to assemble even more detailed profiles of your health and habits in the future.
What many of once thought of as a fun, essentially harmless and amazingly useful social network has turned into a intrusive tracking monster of Orwellian proportions. The NSA has nothing on Mark Zuckerberg and Co., and unless there is a concerted global effort to reverse the trend, we can expect the ever-increasing monitoring of every detail of our lives.
Full article: Facebook now harvesting the list of all the other websites you visit: total online surveillance is here (Natural News)