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Facebook: LinkedIn, Twitter, Google also collect and share your data

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Facebook: We're not the only one who collects your data for ad targeting.
Image: mashable

Facebook has been firmly under the spotlight about how it uses people’s data, but the platform wants to make one thing clear: It’s not the only company doing so.

On Monday, the social network posted an explainer on how it collects your data through its services even when you’re not on Facebook.

The post details the impact of Facebook’s social plugins, which allow users to like or share content on another site, as well as its login tool — when you use Facebook credentials to sign into websites or apps. Other services unpacked include Facebook Analytics, as well as its own advertising and measurement tools. 

As Facebook reiterates, if you’ve used a similar service from other internet companies, they’ve been collecting your data too.

“Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn all have similar Like and Share buttons to help people share things on their services. Google has a popular analytics service. And Amazon, Google and Twitter all offer login features. These companies — and many others — also offer advertising services,” the post reads.

“In fact, most websites and apps send the same information to multiple companies each time you visit them.”

Facebook and other companies essentially collect this data to better target their ads — simply, the more an advertiser knows about you, the better. 

Through Facebook’s social plugins and login function, the platform collects information about what website you’ve visited, plus your browser and device information. 

Facebook Analytics shows which visitors use Facebook, and aggregated demographic data like age and gender. And Facebook’s Audience Network shows ads from the social media platform on other websites, unless you’re not signed up with Facebook.

If you check out your Facebook ad preferences, you’ll be able to see how that data builds a repertoire of interests from your profile, as well as from sites you’ve visited. Apparently I’m into cats and sailing.

Image: facebook

Google has a similar dashboard, and you can find out what Twitter believes you’re interested in based on your activity.

You can turn off personalisation with a click of a button on Twitter, LinkedIn and on Google’s ad settings dashboard, while on Facebook you can opt out of ads based on your use of websites and apps. 

Unless you like being targeted with ads about cats and sailing, of course.

Read more: http://mashable.com/

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