If you click on the links in this post and buy something, we may earn a small commission.
Data companies have more information on you than the government, and it’s being used in ways that weren’t possible even a few years ago.
How many times a day do you see a quiz go through your Facebook feed? Two? Three? Ten? Which “Friends” Character Are You. Which Country Should You Move To. We’ll Guess Your Age Based On These Three Questions.
As our president-elect would say, WRONG!
Those quizzes–which aren’t actually part of Facebook, but are shared all over Facebook–are actually designed to collect information about you, helping data companies compile massive amounts of data about you. According to this article, one data company says that it has as many as 5,000 data points on 230 million Americans.
Taking the quiz itself probably isn’t harmful. It’s when you share the quiz on Facebook. By clicking “share” you’re giving the website that produced the quiz certain rights, and you’ve now linked all of your quiz answers to your real name and identity.
And it’s how they use that data that is truly terrifying. They are able to target us with Facebook ads that speak directly to our own fears. The massive amounts of targeted Facebook ads deployed on behalf of the Trump campaign may have swung the election.
And the worst part is, we’re doing this voluntarily. This isn’t spying or hacking, this is ordinary Americans, sharing way too much about ourselves as a form of entertainment.
This trend of oversharing goes beyond Facebook ads, however. There are companies that compile health data on you to sell to insurance companies. A status update about your daughter’s surgery could impact your insurance rates, and you wouldn’t even know why.
So think before you share, and teach your kids to do the same. Who is seeing that information? What rights are you giving up when you allow a data company access to your Facebook account?
The Secret Agenda of a Facebook Quiz, by McKenzie Funk – NY Times
We Need To Teach Our Kids How To Tell When News Is Fake – Parenting Bytes
Pranking My Roommate With Targeted Facebook Ads, by Brian Switchkow – ghostinfluence
Bytes of the Week
This Automatic Photo Book App Is A Busy Parent’s Dream! By Amy Oztan – Tom’s Guide
Last Minute Christmas Gift Ideas, by Amy Oztan – Amy Ever After
Are you following us on Facebook? It’s a great way to see what we’re reading (including articles that might show up in future episodes), ask us questions, and give us feedback.