Published on Jun 12, 2014
Facebook will soon start tracking the browsing history of its users, and selling that data to advertisers. In addition, a list of all applications downloaded by those on the social media site will be available for sale.
Facebook announced the changes on June 12th in their online newsroom. The article begins by saying the main concern of users about advertisements is that they are not relevant enough.
"Starting soon in the US, we will also include information from some of the websites and apps you use. This is a type of interest-based advertising, and many companies already do this," the company wrote.
If internet users have recently purchased auto insurance anywhere online, the system would target the computer with ads for car accessories. A person who bought a chicken coop in an online auction would soon see advertisements for feed and litter.
This week, Microsoft announced an updated to their terms of service. They pledged not to sell private data. The company often reminds users that Google mines such information for purposes of advertising.
Although other companies track data on Web browsing, Facebook is in a unique position to collect vast amounts of data. The same code that allows users to share or like pages, posts and images can be used to collect data for advertisers.
Facebook management has stated they will allow user to opt-of of tracking, by using the little-known Digital Advertising Alliance opt out system, at aboutads.info. Apps are available for smartphone users who wish to prohibit tracking.
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