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Beware: Facebook buying data from third parties about your offline life, report reveals

Tech giant Facebook is buying data on your offline activity without your knowledge. The data includes users’ income, the types of restaurants they frequent and how many credit cards are in their wallets, an investigation

India TV Tech Desk India TV Tech Desk
New York Published on: December 29, 2016 21:46 IST
Representative News Image
Image Source : PTI Facebook buying data from third parties about your offline life

Tech giant Facebook is buying data on your offline activity without your knowledge. The data includes users’ income, the types of restaurants they frequent and how many credit cards are in their wallets, an investigation by ProPublica has revealed.

At the heart of the issue is that the tech giant gives users little indication that it buys far more sensitive data about them than what the social media platform declares it knows.

Facebook uses algorithms to categorise its users in tens of thousands of micro-targetable groups for advertisers.

"Facebook's site says it gets information about its users 'from a few different sources'," ProPublica said in its report on Tuesday.

"What the page doesn't say is that those sources include detailed dossiers obtained from commercial data brokers about users' offline lives. Nor does Facebook show users any of the often remarkably detailed information it gets from those brokers," it added.

"They are not being honest," Jeffrey Chester, Executive Director of the Center for Digital Democracy, was quoted as saying.

"Facebook is bundling a dozen different data companies to target an individual customer, and an individual should have access to that bundle as well," Chester noted.

(With inputs from IANS)

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