Knowledge — 3 years ago

How Facebook Collects Data

by Michael E.

Facebook Data, Facebook Search, Online Facebook Search

How Facebook Collects Data

Last April was a challenging month for Facebook, that came under heavy scrutiny for its privacy policies and data collection. After it was revealed that the social media giant supposedly had ties with Trump's presidential campaign, Facebook's CEO, Mark Zuckerberg had to appear before Congress and answer questions regarding his website's data collection.

Over the course of several days, Zuckerberg answered over 500 hard hitting questions regarding his website, and gave us all a look into Facebook's data collection methods. If you are one of the social media's users, it's that you find out how Facebook collects data even when you're not logged into to your account, and how it affects the economy:

  1. Facebook Login – plugging into different apps by using your Facebook account isn't only designed to make your life easier, but also to collect data about you. Whenever you login to different apps and accounts by using your Facebook account, the website collects data about you.
  2. Social Plugins – buttons such as "Like" and "Share" on different sites and apps are also used to collect information about you, your browsing habits and your preferences.
  3. Facebook Analytics – this handy tool that was created by Facebook, and is used to collect data for different websites. The analytics tool gives websites a look into the way people interact with them to help the sites better understand user behavior and how to attract more people.
  4. Ads and measurement tools - measurement tools, like Facebook Pixel, test ads to figure out how effective they are based, off course, on how you, the user behave. These tools provide Facebook with information on the times you visited certain sites, if you used services recommended by ads, what actions you took, etc.

Most of these methods apply only to people who have Facebook accounts because those who don't are not contributing to the data collection associated with the social media website.

social search

Why Does Facebook Collect Data?

Like any other business, to survive, Facebook needs money. The popularity of the social media website has made it the perfect platform for running ads, and everybody wants a piece of the action. Businesses run ads on Facebook that billions of people see, so you can imagine what it does to their sales volume.

Also, the analytics tools available on the website allow other sites to learn how people behave, and appeal to their taste with focused and sharpened ads. It may sound like the whole thing revolves around money, and most of the time it does, but Facebook data collection can also protect you. Hacking social media accounts has become a favorite pass time for hackers, and Facebook data collection can prevent that from happening. When Facebook collects data from your account, it's associated to your IP address. When someone with a different IP address tries to use your account, Facebook uses layers of protection, such as identification questions, to make sure someone isn't trying to use your account.

How Long Does Facebook Keep the Data?

While data collection is an important tool for Facebook, it does not hold the information forever. The data collected about people who do not have a Facebook account is stored for only 10 days. Data about people who do have a Facebook account is saved for 90 days. After this time period passes, the data is deleted and the website collects data all over again.

There is no doubt about it – we are all being watched. The freedom and enjoyment that comes with having a social media account do not come without a price. Our information is collected every time we pick up the phone, but luckily, we also have the freedom to stop this whenever we want.

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