Information sharing and marketing
For some time now we have been exposed to marketing techniques that include promoting content that is specifically tailored to our interest or user history. People are seeing topics or updates pop up that are related to things they are writing about, talking about, and searching online. This has rightfully induced a degree of concern that our privacy has been compromised. Everyone simply hates being a part of cheap manipulation tricks and claims that it is too big of a price to pay for online entertainment.
Facebook is no exception, it’s clear that the content that pops up as sponsored posts is aimed at us for a reason, and that they are expecting users to act when they see a specific ad. Whenever you like something it’s viewed as a valuable signal that categorizes us as a potential buyer for a product or service, Also how we react to content or how long we spend viewing specific content is also captured as a relevant signal, and added to the algorithm that sends ads our way.
Sites have to make money
No one is investing time and money into building a platform that does not have revenue potential. Sites earn money from ads, or from selling user information to advertising companies. Nowadays they are more transparent with what their cookies do, but internet users who are aware and oppose these practices tend to rely on VPNs to protect their private information.
Is there a reason to be worried?
First of all whoever does not like this, can simply not use or go on websites that explicitly do this, however, what about people who do not mind these practices? Let’s say that you are someone who says, okay they want to earn money, I am not paying anything they can now my interests. In that case, you can certainly continue to use those platforms but I believe there is a reason to be on your guard.
We don’t know exactly what information they capture and how much they know about us. They may not be using all of this against us, but what if it falls into wrong hands. No safe is unbreakable, and in case Facebook becomes compromised and someone steals all of their information, no one can guarantee they won’t do as they please with your information.
Also, if the information is sold to companies, we don’t know what they are doing with it either, and what those agreements allow them to do.