Facebook is no longer satisfied with tracking your online activity. Now they track your real-world activity too.
An article on BusinessInsider documented the practice: This is how Facebook learns what you buy at physical stores in order to show you relevant ads
Short version: You go to a retail store & buy something. That retailer shares its data about you – email, name, what you bought, when you bought it — with Facebook. Facebook matches it with their own data, and creates a "custom audience"...a group of people like you. The same retailer can then target that "custom audience" with ads online.
Ever shopped at a certain store, only to see ads from the same store online a few days later? This is why.
Facebook gets huge amounts of data on you from this practice. Is it legal? Yes. Is it a risk to your business' privacy, if you use Facebook for business? Undoubtedly.
How do we stop it? Here's what you can do.
- Don't use email receipts for business-related purchases. Take a paper receipt.
- Change your Ad Settings on Facebook: Go to this page: Facebook Preferences - Ads and you'll see the Ad Settings section. Click the "Ads based on data from partners" row. Change the dropdown there to "Not Allowed."
- Don't use the same email address for your Facebook account and your banking. This is how Facebook does most of its data matching—by email address.
- If at all possible, shut down your Facebook account. This Tech Tip has instructions on how to do it.
Do you have a cybersecurity question you want answered? Send it in to WOOF@PlanetMagpie.com and it may show up in our next "Cyber Fu Tip."