So you might have heard that Facebook has suspended #CambridgeAnalytica and Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL) for fraudulent use of #data extending back to 2015.… Here's how to check your privacy and ad settings on @facebook. A thread.
Anyone that uses Facebook has probably given permission to an app at some stage. Maybe you use FB to sign into other sites, or you wanted to see some future predictions for fun. That's grand, but they retain access to your data even after you stop using them. Here's how to review
First go to your drop down menu & click Settings. Then click Apps. Review these carefully. For e.g. I use Kickstarter and 9gag frequently so those are grand, but see the ones like Klout and Giveaway widget? I'll want to remove permissions for those, even if only I can see posts.
Click app name or pencil icon to edit. You'll see a list of info you've provided, post visibility settings & more. Any data they have already stored on you won't be removed, you need to contact the developers for that. Delete is at the end. You can delete all app posts too.
I recommend looking through the list once every 6 months at least. I've removed more than half of those apps now, and only left the ones that I use regularly and trust. Never use apps, play games or use FB to log into other sites? You can turn the functionality off completely:
Driven up the wall with Candy Crush notifications or whatever game is currently popular? You can also turn them off here.
Here's an interesting one - maybe you're careful not to use apps and share your info, but your friends might be doing it on your behalf. There's an option here to limit how much info your friends can share on your behalf. I recommend making this as strict as possible!
Now that we've dealt with apps, lets take a quick look at your ad settings. There are a large number of ways to target ads on Facebook, but you can set some preferences. Again you'll find this in Settings, this time in Ads. This screen looks a little different to the last:
Ok, so lots of info on this screen. Advertisers can target based on interest e.g. Anyone over 18 that is interested in video games. You can see (and remove) the interests that FB assigned to you based on your activity here. Take some time to review here. Click X to remove any
It takes some time to go through all that, but it will make your FB experience better. For example, I removed religious and political targeting as I don't want to see those kinds of ads on FB. It's quite scary how much info they pull on you, and how much of it is accurate.
Next important field is "Your Information". Here you can choose if advertisers can see your employment/study/relationship details. I'm going to remove most of these. Next look at the categories FB has put you in. Scarily accurate. Again, x to delete. Hover to see the reason why.
Further down you'll see some options for where the ads can be shown to you. I recommend reading these and deciding for yourself if you want them on or not. Turning them off means they can't use your data, but that will also make your ads much less relevant to you. Your call!
Last but not least, you can choose to block certain adverts for a period of time. Right now mine is limited to parenting, alcohol and pets, but you can suggest more categories if you'd like.
You can learn more about how FB advertising works here:…
So why is this all important? Because people often mistakenly believe their personal data is worth nothing. It really really is. As a budding data analyst and a social media analyst by trade, it's shocking how much I can learn about you with some enterprise level tools.
Many FB users mistakenly believe that if they have their posts set to friends only that they are locking down their data. Yes, that is important, but few actively monitor the above settings. For more basic settings, check out the FB privacy check tool.
I also want to give a shout out to @TransparentRef - if you're monitoring your privacy and ads, consider installing @WhoTargetsMe which helps catalogue any ads related to the #8thref (regardless of your permissions) to track who is paying for which ads. #Repealthe8th
Anyways, happy #StPatricksDay2018, I have a parade to catch so I'll leave it at that for now but I'll do a thread on Twitter permissions and preferences tomorrow if there's interest. Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhaoibh!
Oh and here's a great ad that shows how much data can be pulled about you online. If a small team can do this in such a short time, imagine the kind of profile the likes of Cambridge Analytica are able to build!
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