May 7, 2021

Lake Front News

News for the students. By the students.

Facebook Caught Collecting Users’ Information

Facebook and Instagram which is owned by Facebook collect users' online activity, something to consider when using social media.

By Paul Marquez

San Antonio— Facebook may not be the only social media site spying on you. Facebook has been collecting information from its users for years according to recent reports. The photos you liked or shared, that news article you clicked has all been collected. Thinking of deleting Facebook from your life? You might also want to start with Instagram.

A hashtag #DeleteFacebook can be found on Twitter. Users are upset on how much information Facebook actually knows about its users. Facebook uses this information and sells ads that in turn make money for advertisers.

Many have been questioning why not just quit social media and keep Instagram only. Facebook owns Instagram meaning the same software used on Facebook is being used on Instagram. Jumping from one social media to the other will make no difference.

OLLU graduate Mark Martinez says, “Have you ever noticed how you search for something, then a day or so later you find it on your news feed?” Facebook uses your social media activity to sell your information to potential customers. Based on your likes your news feed will reflect data collected and sold. Martinez says, “I searched for a spring break resort then a few days later it appeared on my Instagram offering me a discount.” This will keep happening if we let Facebook or any social media control our information.

There are a few things we can do as consumers to slow down the process. What can be done to limit the information collected about your online activity? Be mindful of your online activity. Limit the time you use your social media platform. The less you interact with these sites; the less information they can gather about you. Remember all apps that ask if you would like to sign in with Facebook are also collecting your information. For example, Spotify and Hulu use Facebook to sign in.

As Facebook users, you can attempt to stop ads from appearing. On Facebook visit the ad settings page. There is a selection that asks if you want to see ads based on your interest. If you want to stop seeing ads, you want to turn it off. On this page, you turn off the notifications. This, in turn, stops ads based on information that is used to target you while online.

Social media is only growing and so are the concerns of people who wish to keep their information private.

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