The social network Facebook.com has been one of the most popular websites since its development in 2004. The site is a great way to stay in touch with both friends and family. However do you really want people knowing everything about you including who, what, where, when, and why? A user can control who sees their post and what they post, but they don’t control what information Facebook stores about you.
With the data the company collects, “We are able to deliver our Services, personalize content, and make suggestions for you by using this information to understand how you use and interact with our Services and the people or things you’re connected to and interested in on and off our Services.”
Facebook saves data about almost everything you do. What you do, what others do, information about your network, your credit card number, device information, and much more. With this information, Facebook hopes to create a better and more convenient user experience. If you put your credit card information on Facebook because you bought something through their system, then Facebook will save your card info so that you don’t have to type it in again. While this is certainly convenient for the user, this creates so many security risks. If Facebook is hacked, the hackers can gain access to the user’s credit card information and use it to purchase whatever they want.
Similar to the credit cards, Facebook saves information about a user’s likes and interests. Facebook knows what you click on and what you view most, so the site will show you advertisements about topics you’re interested in. “We use the information we have to improve our advertising and measurement systems so we can show you relevant ads on and off our Services and measure the effectiveness and reach of ads and services.” This is another tool that is meant to help and service the user, but if fallen into the wrong hands, could make identity fraud that much easier.
Facebook also uses the data and information about you to “promote safety and security.” If Facebook knows a user lives in a certain state, and then they see that the same user is posting in a whole other part of the country, it will become suspicious and make sure that it is the same user on the account. “We use the information we have to help verify accounts and activity, and to promote safety and security on and off of our Services, such as by investigating suspicious activity or violations of our terms or policies. We work hard to protect your account using teams of engineers, automated systems, and advanced technology such as encryption and machine learning. We also offer easy-to-use security tools that add an extra layer of security to your account.”