How Does Facebook’s Big Data Harvesting Impact You?

share-fb.gif~c100When you hear about Facebook gathering data on your visit, you merely think that refers to your personal posting to your account or comments on your friends posting. You’d never imaging Facebook is tracking much more than just updates.

Is that just your ignorance of how data is collected? You certainly think so.
Your only thought is what you’ve posted and shared on Facebook. Never would you imagine what your computer or other devices you’re operating, is doing in the backgroung when you open your Facebook.

You’re merely thinking about your personal experience on Facebook.

Facebook and Big Data

In fact, Facebook is data harvesting a pantheon of information beyond your updates and likes. On November 16, 2011, USA Today’s article relates to Facebook constantly collecting data on both their users and non-users, tracking them across websites, none of which are owned by Facebook.

“Even Facebook officials are now acknowledging that the social media giant has been able to create a running log of web pages that each of its over 800 million members has visited over the previous three months. They also keep track of where millions more non-members of the social network go on the Web, once they visit a Facebook web page for any reason.

To do this, Facebook relies on tracking cookies technologies similar to the controversial systems used by Google, Adobe, Microsoft, Yahoo!, and others in the online advertising industry, says Arturo Bejar, their engineering director.”

Widespread Big Data Collection

It’s alarming news of the amount of data harvested by Facebook and other sites. As Bernard Marr put it in his February 8, 2014 SmartDataCollective blog post: “We as the users of Facebook happily feed their big date beast. We spend 10 billion Facebook messages each day, click the LIKE button 4.5 billion times and upload 350 million pictures each and every day. Overall, there are 17 billion location-tagged posts and a staggering 250 billion photos on Facebook.

All this information means Facebook knows what we look like, who our friends are, what our views are on most things, when our birthday is, whether we are in a relationship or not, the location we are at, what we like and dislike, and much more. This is an awful lot of information (and power) in the hands of one commercial company.”

Facebook and Your Face

With their funded image processing and “facial recognition” software that essentially allows the site to track you anywhere you go. It knows what you and your friends look like based on the images you have voluntarily shared on its site. With such technology, it can search the web, all other Facebook profiles and other places to find photos of you and your friends.
That’s how they can make “tag suggestions” when you post pictures of people on your Facebook account. It’s mind-blowing to realize how that recognition software is that powerful.

Perhaps, Facebook’s algorithm could also track your body shape! Even analyze your vacation photos from the beach to determine that you have gain a little weight recently! All this possibilities are mind boggling imagine it may cause them to place an ad for a local weight loss clinic on your feed!

Facebook and Your Feelings

That’s not all they can do. One recent study conducted by Cambridge University in conjunction with Microsoft Research found that it’s possible to accurately predict a range of highly sensitive personal attributes just by looking at what you have “Liked” on Facebook.
These can include such things as your sexual orientation, satisfaction with life, intellect, emotional stability, religious beliefs, alcohol and drug consumption, relationship status, age, gender, race, political views, and much more.
The “Like” on Facebook you select don’t have anything to do with this specific attributes. Sometimes, a simple “Like” is enough for the algorithm to generate a highly accurate description of you.
Who would imaging when you look at Facebook, it’s looking back at you even more intently.

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