Facebook keeps a running list of things it has learned about you for advertisers. At this point, the list isn’t incredibly hard to find: Go to your account settings, click on “ads,” and the list will appear, ready for you to peruse or modify as you see fit, The Washington Post writes.
These lists have been public for a while. In preelection 2016, The Washington Post compiled a list of 98 categories that Facebook might use to build a portrait of you for advertisers. Based on what you tell Facebook, the company zeros in on your interests. Those data points are then used to allow advertisers to target ads to the people who might be most likely to click on them. It’s a core part of Facebook’s business.
But, when the Pew Research Center set out to examine that question, it found that 74 percent of Facebook users didn’t even know that the list existed, The Washington Post reports. Once they had a chance to view this list, 51 percent were not comfortable with Facebook collecting this information about them, according to the report.
In a statement, Facebook said it believed that “Pew’s findings underscore the importance of transparency and control across the entire ad industry, and the need for more consumer education around the controls we place at people’s fingertips,” The Washington Post reports.
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