The New Facebook: 7 Privacy Concerns about the Open Graph | Social Media Virtual Assistant - Be Social Worldwide

The New Facebook: 7 Privacy Concerns about the Open Graph

Filed Under Social Marketing

Does it ever surprise you just how well Facebook seems to know you? It’s almost like the advertisements are created just for you. Facebook collects plenty of data about its users through any apps you choose to use, such as games. The only way to avoid this completely is to stop using these apps. The new Open Graph on Facebook makes it necessary for you to customize your privacy settings in order to limit how much of your information is put out there.

Here, we will look at seven things you probably didn’t know Facebook knows about you. The social network uses this information to interact with advertisers as well as your long list of friends.

1) It knows where you’ve been. It’s very commonplace for us to add our location whenever we add a new post, especially if we are out with friends. One of the new Timeline features on Facebook is the “Map” which displays your check-ins, photos, events, etc. If you are using Facebook on your mobile phone or any other device, then your location is shared. If a friend takes your picture on a phone that is GPS-enabled and shares and tags that picture, then that data is also going to be shared.

2) It knows who you’re sneaking peaks at. Almost every person we’ve interacted with in your life can be found on Facebook. From time to time, it may be tempting to see if an old flame is seeing someone or what your high school crush has been doing. But suddenly these people are showing up in your feed. Why? Because Facebook has been watching where you creep and assumes that you want to know about those people, so the information shows up.

3) It knows where you’re going this weekend. Not only do we broadcast our plans to friends and family on Facebook by posting about it, but even clicking on advertisements or RSVPing to events on Facebook can let people know what you’re doing. The “Sponsored Stories” area on your page will tell your friends if you “Like” something or are attending an event that they sponsor. This is done in an effort to get more people involved. You are essentially becoming a brand ambassador.

4) It knows what you’ve been reading. The Washington Post now has a Social Reader, as do other sites, like Yahoo. If you click to read an article and it asks you to allow the app to access your information, you probably clicked “allow” and didn’t give it a second thought. When you read an article, it shows up in your friends’ timelines. So now, any other time you read an article through one of these sites, people are going to know! So, if you wanted to read the latest article about the Kardashians, be prepared to have everyone in your list know your secret shame.

5) It knows where you go running. If you are an avid runner, chances are you have used the Runkeeper app. This follows your route via GPS and shares that info to the timeline. But, what if you forget to turn it off? Then people could follow you around for the entire day and know your every move. Scary.

6) It knows that you’re cheating on your diet. In partnership with Runkeeper is the Fitbit. These tools were designed to help keep you motivated in your fitness routines, but at what cost? Information that you would rather not share about your fitness successes and failures gets blasted to your Facebook friends.

7) It knows what you’re listening to. Spotify is a new music app that has partnered with Facebook. Users have to sign up with their Facebook account, letting your friends know what you listen to throughout the day. They do offer a “Private Listening” mode now for those who don’t want their listening habits shared with the world, but it must be selected every time you start listening.

Are you concerned about privacy when it comes to Facebook? What are your biggest privacy concerns? Share with us!


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  • Dawn Pigoni, IVAA Member