If you think you have control of your data on Facebook, and on the manner in which they are used, you are mistaken. According to a study conducted by researchers from Northeastern University and Princeton, in the United States, the social network uses telephone numbers, that their users had not consented to give, or had provided only for purposes of security, to target… advertising.

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in Addition to the personal data shared voluntarily with Facebook, the study, as revealed by the specialized site Gizmodo, has shown that the company Mark Zuckerberg was based on your “shadow profile” for targeted advertising. This profile phantom is made up of all the information collected by Facebook without that you have not otherwise disclosed. Even people who do not have official account on Facebook can have a “shadow profile”.

the contents of

Concretely, the advertisers only have to cross their information with the social network via the service “custom Audience” for Facebook. For example, if you have already given it to a brand your phone number, she will be able to communicate to the social network. The latter can then display advertising on your account by associating this number to the one it has already received.

researchers have discovered that the phone number or the contact email that are used to secure and authenticate your account are, in particular, recovered for advertising purposes. According to their study, a number known only to this security mechanism, called “two-factor authentication”, was available a few days later to perform a targeted campaign.

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The practice has been recognized by Facebook, which estimates inform users in a clear way. “We use the information that people provide to offer a better experience, more personalized, including (in respect of) the advertisements. We are clear about how we use the information, including the contact info that people (put) into their account. You can manage and delete the information at any time,” responded a spokesperson for the company.

Facebook farfouille in the directories

Another mine of information : the directories of the other users of the social network. When you download the app on his phone, everyone has the opportunity to provide access to the social network to your address book to find friends on the network. The network took the opportunity to fill in the missing information on its users, without necessarily informing.

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The four authors indicate that they have verified all these statements in making tests. “Our findings remain true even when you enable privacy settings” at the maximum level of protection, ” they say.


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