Social Media


Data scientist Vicki Boykis has written an extensive article on how and what Facbook tracks on it's users! Zeynep Tufekci tells us that this data is not sold but used to mine our attention. Infographic display. Apparently, the overwhelming opinion is that Facebook sells our data, but that is not the case, despite the data scandal with Cambridge Analytica.

Facebook does not sell your data, it leases it to advertisers. Facebook does not allow an advertiser to see your specific individual data profile but amongst a group of similar profiles.

Data for Thought

  • Facebook collects your keystrokes before you even publish a post, they even wrote a study about 'self censorship'
  • Facebook does allow you to download your data but just a subset of it
  • DeepFace, the face recognition software, wants to identify everyone in a photo, possible violating biometric privacy in Illinois
  • Shadow profiles contain information about alternate phone numbers, emails and a template of your face. It may even store non-Facebook user information as well.
  • Facebook tracks your cursor and other sites visited when you are still logged on

The amazing great folks at Mozilla have created a firefox Facebook privacy extension which helps you control the invasive tracking when you use Facebook. Check it out.

Best Practices

Did you know that photos contain meta-data that are posted online? Just another step to consider if you are super-conscious about posting information online.

Did you know there about 10+ online databases that store personal information about you? It's not illegal, they are simply listing public information about you. The good folks are have put together a guide for each service.

Here are some handy tools for various purposes