Facebook just announced that it’s going to sell our data to big ad companies. This is a massive and dangerous breach of privacy, for you and for the 1.2 billion other Facebook users out there.
Facebook says it’s doing this so that users can enjoy a more relevant “ad experience,” but in reality it’s because our data is like gold — and Facebook is ready to make millions in profit selling our personal information.
The social media giant has been getting a lot of heat lately for not respecting its users’ right to privacy. The addition of this feature to its website and mobile app is set to come out in the next few weeks. The clock is ticking, but if we act now, we can stop Facebook before it starts.
Tell Facebook not to sell its users’ personal information to big ad companies.
This development comes at a time when the most famous social media company is facing the heat for doing expirements on how to manipulate its users’ emotions. It’s high time Facebook respects our rights as users.
Until now, Facebook has steered clear from directly selling your data to advertisers. The ads you see in the Facebook sidebar come through third-party companies that pilfer your browsing history and populate Facebook with relevant ads. If you just searched for a new pair of sandals, for instance, sandal ads from major shoe companies will probably start to pop up in your sidebar.
That’s annoying, but things are about to get downright creepy. Facebook will be able to track your every move online thanks to a little tracking beacon that works even when you’re logged out of Facebook — it will give it a treasure trove of information about you that advertisers have been dying to get their hands on. And we won’t be able to ignore these new ads, because now they’ll show up right in our news feeds.
Facebook is insisting that the ad feature is an opt-out, but it is a rather tedious process: you have to opt-out in several advertisers websites, and the opt-out is not always working. Plus, when you log into Facebook on another browser or a new computer, you will have to go through the lengthy opt-out process again.
The company also claims that users want to see ads that “are more relevant to their interests,” but we can’t help but think that most users would rather not be stalked online than see more relevant ads.
Facebook should protect the privacy of its users, not sell it away.
Facebook: Protect our right to privacy — do not sell off our information to advertisers.
Thanks for all you do,
Taren, Cami and the team at SumOfUs.org
“Facebook Is Now Selling Your Web-Browsing Data To Advertisers” Consumerist, June 12, 2014.
“Facebook to track users’ web browsing data for better targeted ads” The Inquirer, June 12, 2014
“How to Stop Facebook From Using Your Browsing History” Gizmodo, June 15, 2014