98 things that Facebook knows about you!

Information is (Facebook's) money! 

Despite all of those hysterical posts about Facebook starting to charge it's users (seriously - stop sharing these, they're fake!), they will always make their billions through advertising. It's really simple -  advertisers like to advertise to the people that are most likely to buy the product or service that they're selling. They do this by profiling their audience to make sure their adverts show up on the right pages, at the right times, and in the right locations. If Facebook (or any other advertiser) can offer that high level of targeting, then they can charge companies more to advertise - information is money!

What information does Facebook collect? 

Facebook uses up to 98 different data points to profile you. Most of them won't surprise you, some might, some will! More surprising is where they get their information from - anyone use a supermarket loyalty card? If so, then Facebook probably knows when you shop and what you buy! Here's what we know they know:

  1. Location
  2. Age
  3. Generation
  4. Gender
  5. Language
  6. Education level
  7. Field of study
  8. School
  9. Ethnic affinity
  10. Income and net worth
  11. Home ownership and type
  12. Home value
  13. Property size
  14. Square footage of home
  15. Year home was built
  16. Household composition
  17. Users who have an anniversary within 30 days
  18. Users who are away from family or hometown
  19. Users who are friends with someone who has an anniversary, is newly married or engaged, recently moved, or has an upcoming birthday
  20. Users in long-distance relationships
  21. Users in new relationships
  22. Users who have new jobs
  23. Users who are newly engaged
  24. Users who are newly married
  25. Users who have recently moved
  26. Users who have birthdays soon
  27. Parents
  28. Expectant parents
  29. Mothers, divided by “type” (soccer, trendy, etc.)
  30. Users who are likely to engage in politics
  31. Conservatives and liberals
  32. Relationship status
  33. Employer
  34. Industry
  35. Job title
  36. Office type
  37. Interests
  38. Users who own motorcycles
  39. Users who plan to buy a car (and what kind/brand of car, and how soon)
  40. Users who bought auto parts or accessories recently
  41. Users who are likely to need auto parts or services
  42. Style and brand of car you drive
  43. Year car was bought
  44. Age of car
  45. How much money user is likely to spend on next car
  46. Where user is likely to buy next car
  47. How many employees your company has
  48. Users who own small businesses
  49. Users who work in management or are executives
  50. Users who have donated to charity (divided by type)
  51. Operating system
  52. Users who play canvas games
  53. Users who own a gaming console
  54. Users who have created a Facebook event
  55. Users who have used Facebook Payments
  56. Users who have spent more than average on Facebook Payments
  57. Users who administer a Facebook page
  58. Users who have recently uploaded photos to Facebook
  59. Internet browser
  60. Email service
  61. Early/late adopters of technology
  62. Expats (divided by what country they are from originally)
  63. Users who belong to a credit union, national bank or regional bank
  64. Users who investor (divided by investment type)
  65. Number of credit lines
  66. Users who are active credit card users
  67. Credit card type
  68. Users who have a debit card
  69. Users who carry a balance on their credit card
  70. Users who listen to the radio
  71. Preference in TV shows
  72. Users who use a mobile device (divided by what brand they use)
  73. Internet connection type
  74. Users who recently acquired a smartphone or tablet
  75. Users who access the Internet through a smartphone or tablet
  76. Users who use coupons
  77. Types of clothing user’s household buys
  78. Time of year user’s household shops most
  79. Users who are “heavy” buyers of beer, wine or spirits
  80. Users who buy groceries (and what kinds)
  81. Users who buy beauty products
  82. Users who buy allergy medications, cough/cold medications, pain relief products, and over-the-counter meds
  83. Users who spend money on household products
  84. Users who spend money on products for kids or pets, and what kinds of pets
  85. Users whose household makes more purchases than is average
  86. Users who tend to shop online (or off)
  87. Types of restaurants user eats at
  88. Kinds of stores user shops at
  89. Users who are “receptive” to offers from companies offering online auto insurance, higher education or mortgages, and prepaid debit cards/satellite TV
  90. Length of time user has lived in house
  91. Users who are likely to move soon
  92. Users who are interested in the Olympics, fall football, cricket or Ramadan
  93. Users who travel frequently, for work or pleasure
  94. Users who commute to work
  95. Types of vacations user tends to go on
  96. Users who recently returned from a trip
  97. Users who recently used a travel app
  98. Users who participate in a timeshare

How does Facebook find out all of this information? 

  • Data sharing. Companies and organisations legally and openly share data all of the time - have you ever clicked on the terms and conditions without actually reading them?  
  • Page and post likes. If you like something on Facebook, this will be logged and you're more likely to see an advert that relates to that post or page. The more pages about a certain topic that you like, the higher the likelihood that you'll see an advert!
  • Page visits. Each time you visit a website through Facebook, your activity will be monitored and used for audience building. 
  • Topics you talk about. If you get involved in discussions on your page (or someone else's) then this will show that you're interested in the topic being discussed. 
  • Page Pixels. Some websites will carry tools that allow them to track visits and link those visits to your Facebook page - news sites are big users of these add-ons. 

It has to be said that Facebook are very open about their advertising policy, although like all data collection and storage activities, they could probably be a little more transparent if they really tried!

We have a saying here at immunizeNet - nothing is private, everything is permanent. You're pretty much giving up your privacy by using most apps and websites online and whilst that is disconcerting to some extent,  most of us will just have to accept that fact in order to use the Internet!