Facebook is watching YOU...

47 replies
I've seen this a few times now, and it's genuinely worrying me.

(tin foil hats not required, but almost...)

I've been searching Google for stuff, as we all do.

Then a day or so later, I log into my Facebook account and then an Ad pops up on the right, directly related to what I was searching for recently on Google.

I'm not sure about you, but this worries me. I want to know how they are doing this. I feel like I'm being watched.

Yes ok, I know we are ALL being watched online... and tracked, and cookied, and tagged, and signed up... and split tested...

... but this I feel pushes it too far.

It's one thing searching in Facebook for content and then seeing relevant ads, but when you're searching on Google for content and Facebook is taking notes on your machine, so they can show you ads?

That's not something I want to be part of.

What do you think? Any ideas how they are doing this?

How do you feel about it? How do you stop it?
#facebook #watching
  • Profile picture of the author Aussie_Al
    If you don't like it delete your facebook account - its the only way to be sure
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    • Profile picture of the author Oce@n
      That's why facebook asks you for your age, your sex, status (single or relationship) what you like, your hobbies, favorite quotes, etc... When you first create your account. Then you forget you did it, but actually, just by changing your status from single to "in a relationship", you'll see the ads change lol

      Some guys did it, tired of the online dating sites ads "Are you Single? Date Hot Women Tonight!" they were getting...

      So yes, facebook is watching you, and is becoming the biggest advertising platform on the web.
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  • Profile picture of the author opiniones
    facebook is watching you and i got news for you so is google!

    nothing is private anymore.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Kelsall
    retargeting FTW!

    No way to stop it really other than clearing cookies or using "private browsing"with firefox as far as I can tell.
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    • Profile picture of the author opiniones
      Originally Posted by Jeremy Kelsall View Post

      retargeting FTW!

      No way to stop it really other than clearing cookies or using "private browsing"with firefox as far as I can tell.
      What I do is private browsing with roboform. Roboform lets you do private browsing at all times since you won't need cookies anymore to keep you logged in to sites (you will have access to all your pws through roboform)
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  • Profile picture of the author steven-brandon88
    i personally am not a fan of these sites because i feel that when you postso many pictures of yourself, have alot of personal information on the internet and many people can see your profile, this combination creates a possibility of abuse.

    i didnt realise that they are tracking what your searching for which is scary actually.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve Sieloff
    I'm not sure if it's actually FB doing it. It might be
    google doing it, or how FB (and others) set up ads
    to display.

    I see the same thing happen on other sites such as eBay,
    SBCGlobal (AT&T), Roadrunner, Compuserve (yes, they're
    still around), etc. They all will show ads for things I've been
    searching for on google.
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  • Profile picture of the author SteveJohnson
    Originally Posted by Nick Brighton View Post

    I've seen this a few times now, and it's genuinely worrying me.

    ...

    It's one thing searching in Facebook for content and then seeing relevant ads, but when you're searching on Google for content and Facebook is taking notes on your machine, so they can show you ads?

    That's not something I want to be part of.

    What do you think? Any ideas how they are doing this?

    How do you feel about it? How do you stop it?
    Explain to me how Facebook can take notes on what you do while you're on Google?

    Facebook must be running a keylogger on my machine, because they can't access Google's cookies.

    Mulder, Scully? Where are you?

    P.S. Actually, Steve above has the explanation that makes the most sense: that Google is sharing its info with all these other places and companies. I suppose it could be true.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Kelsall
      Originally Posted by SteveJohnson View Post

      Explain to me how Facebook can take notes on what you do while you're on Google?
      It's not facebook or Google per se - What you are seeing is "retargeting ads" Thanks Brian Mcleod for mentioning these to me in the Friday Night Chat
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      • Profile picture of the author SteveJohnson
        Originally Posted by Jeremy Kelsall View Post

        It's not facebook or Google per se - What you are seeing is "retargeting ads" Thanks Brian Mcleod for mentioning these to me in the Friday Night Chat
        "Retargeting ads" is what exactly?
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        Gun control means never having to say, "I missed you."

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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Barboza
    They are taking over the world!!!! Seriuosly, I am also worried about my privacy on the net
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  • Profile picture of the author opiniones
    I remember when i signed up for facebook and i already had a friend request by a friend right after being registered. I found it kinda creepy. I don't know how she could have found my account so fast or if the system sent out the request automatically or something.

    I no longer have a facebook..
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    • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
      Nick,

      Originally Posted by Nick Brighton View Post

      I've been searching Google for stuff, as we all do.
      Then a day or so later, I log into my Facebook account and then an Ad pops up on the right, directly related to what I was searching for recently on Google.
      Originally Posted by opiniones View Post

      What I do is private browsing with roboform. Roboform lets you do private browsing at all times since you won't need cookies anymore to keep you logged in to sites (you will have access to all your pws through roboform)
      Now it's really going to freak you out when you log in to your FB a/c and you get an ad for Roboform


      Frank
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  • Profile picture of the author rpw
    Just tell yourself they are trying to be helpful by following your internet use and placing ads on the screen which may interest you. They all share information.

    Their goal is about user experience. Your interaction with your friend the internet computer.

    No point in getting spooked in this century about your internet activity
    as long as it is legal.
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    Robert P. Williams

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    • Profile picture of the author dannyadams
      Banned
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      • Profile picture of the author Nick Brighton
        Originally Posted by SteveJohnson View Post

        Explain to me how Facebook can take notes on what you do while you're on Google?

        Facebook must be running a keylogger on my machine, because they can't access Google's cookies.

        Mulder, Scully? Where are you?

        P.S. Actually, Steve above has the explanation that makes the most sense: that Google is sharing its info with all these other places and companies. I suppose it could be true.
        Exactly. It must be a shared data thing. There's no way Facebook could have access to that cookie data without Google's consent or knowing.

        Originally Posted by Jeremy Kelsall View Post

        It's not facebook or Google per se - What you are seeing is "retargeting ads" Thanks Brian Mcleod for mentioning these to me in the Friday Night Chat
        Re-targeting is something I've heard of recently, and I'm sure it will soon become the next buzz word in our community, but let's forget the buzz words for a moment...

        ... the fact is, whatever you want to call it, there must be some kind of partnership between Google and the sites that use re-targeting.

        Otherwise, I'm really scared.

        If that's the case, at least it's only a cookie (or is it?)

        Funny thing is, I've used Facebook ads and I can't see how you would re-target keywords or specific surfers with Facebook's standard ad/campaign creation tools.

        Perhaps that's for the "special" advertisers who spend a certain amount of zeros each day.
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        • Profile picture of the author Nick Brighton
          Originally Posted by Tsnyder View Post

          Privacy??? On the internet????


          LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL... too naive.

          Tsnyder
          I'm not asking for privacy, or expecting it. There's a difference between having clear disclaimers and policies in place for your users, and covertly tracking their movements and activity online for profit or gain.

          I understand why, and it's clever. I just want to make sure I have a choice.

          And trust me, when you start getting harassed by ads based on an old search in Google you did weeks ago... OVER AND OVER AGAIN, then I'm betting you and many others will soon take this more seriously.

          If you've ever been stalked by a creep, or a ghastly ugly oddball, you'll know what I mean.

          And yes, unless you're stuck in a Hollywood blockbuster with Jason Bourne, then you DO have a certain amount choice about your privacy.

          (and that's coming from a guy living in a country with the highest level of public surveillance in the world...England)

          Sure, you can't fall off the radar completely, but in the context of what I'm talking about here, you do (or should) have the option to remain anonymous.
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          • Profile picture of the author Tsnyder
            Originally Posted by Nick Brighton View Post

            I'm not asking for privacy, or expecting it. There's a difference between having clear disclaimers and policies in place for your users, and covertly tracking their movements and activity online for profit or gain.

            I understand why, and it's clever. I just want to make sure I have a choice.

            And trust me, when you start getting harassed by ads based on an old search in Google you did weeks ago... OVER AND OVER AGAIN, then I'm betting you and many others will soon take this more seriously.

            If you've ever been stalked by a creep, or a ghastly ugly oddball, you'll know what I mean.

            And yes, unless you're stuck in a Hollywood blockbuster with Jason Bourne, then you DO have a certain amount choice about your privacy.

            (and that's coming from a guy living in a country with the highest level of public surveillance in the world...England)

            Sure, you can't fall off the radar completely, but in the context of what I'm talking about here, you do (or should) have the option to remain anonymous.
            Nick...

            I hear your concerns but, please... let's be serious.

            How in the world could one possibly construe ads being served
            in the sidebar of their Facebook status page as harassment?

            I rarely even notice the ads let alone feel harassed by them.

            Tsnyder
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            If you knew what I know you'd be doing what I do...
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  • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
    Facebook is the least of your worries if you use Norton or McAfee security software.

    They have built-in bugs to send your computer details to the US government.

    I'm not making that up. It's fact.
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    • Profile picture of the author opiniones
      Originally Posted by Rezbi View Post

      Facebook is the least of your worries if you use Norton or McAfee security software.

      They have built-in bugs to send your computer details to the US government.

      I'm not making that up. It's fact.
      damn my mcafee just renewed automatically a few day ago for another year

      what are your sources on this?
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  • Profile picture of the author Mary Green
    Google released this kind of ad targeting a month or so ago with adsense- it may have been longer. Basically though when you search something, it's kinda of remembered and the next time you go to a site that has ads on it such as adsense related ads will show instead of the keyword related ads. I haven't heard much more about it, but sounds related.
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  • Profile picture of the author humbledmarket
    Banned
    This is the same for google ads as well. However google ads has an option to opt out of this if I'm not mistaken. Not too sure about facebook.

    That does go a bit against my privacy however I thought it won't be only me there would probably be millions of other surfers out there so it's hard to imagine that it would actually spy on one at a time. Maybe they do but going through the actions of million people daily would be fairly difficult

    So in my opinion as long as I ain't doing anything illegal I'm good.

    Heard facebook TOS said they could use anything you post is their property that is what scares me most such as images, videos ect.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tsnyder
    Privacy??? On the internet????


    LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL... too naive.

    Tsnyder
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    If you knew what I know you'd be doing what I do...
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  • Profile picture of the author Caleb Spilchen
    Hey Man,

    Ad networks can't track you without a tracking cookie. To remove this tracking cookie, it's pretty simple. Just delete the cookies. There is also a way to opt out of most networks (adsense, mediaplex etc), and that's linked below. If you decide to use the below, every time you clear your cookies, you would need to do it again (as it does the opposite of a tracking cookie, it tells them NOT to track you)...

    Network Advertising Initiative

    I really hope that helps you out.

    Caleb
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  • Profile picture of the author monya
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    • Profile picture of the author simmer
      I made this observation the other day and was interested to see if anyone else was talking about it in here... And they were

      Anyway.. I was on Facebook the other day and were it has people you may know or something of the sort it had a tutor of a craft class I had attended last summer.

      How did Facebook know that I may possibly know this person? She had no similar friends. I hadn't put anything to do with that class on my profile or interests. The only place I have any connection with that person was several correspondence emails in my Gmail account!

      Simmer
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      • Profile picture of the author higginb3
        Originally Posted by simmer View Post

        I made this observation the other day and was interested to see if anyone else was talking about it in here... And they were

        Anyway.. I was on Facebook the other day and were it has people you may know or something of the sort it had a tutor of a craft class I had attended last summer.

        How did Facebook know that I may possibly know this person? She had no similar friends. I hadn't put anything to do with that class on my profile or interests. The only place I have any connection with that person was several correspondence emails in my Gmail account!

        Simmer
        I've heard that from some other people that use Gmail, I've never experienced it myself... wow.
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  • Profile picture of the author MandoThrasher
    Facebook can't read Google's cookies. Cookies are only available to the domain that wrote the cookie.

    Facebook is picking up your interests from your profile and keywords in posts you have made.
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  • Profile picture of the author cozmokramer
    This is typical.. look at chitika ads. You visit a site through a search engine, the search engine passes the search word and any ads on that site are directly related to what you searched for.

    Who needs the ads, isn't that why i clicked on the URL in the first place, so they would have the content I needed, not to show me ads to find the content?
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  • Profile picture of the author tommydesmond
    I think you're looking at it from the wrong perspective. This is a GREAT thing for internet marketers. At the outset, as a consumer, it might be freaky that they have all this intel on your activities, but privacy online was always only an illusion. They've ALWAYS had this kind of information on surfers.

    This is precisely what makes IM so powerful. Think of the myriad ways you can leverage that targeting...
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  • Profile picture of the author halfbakedrew
    if you been looking up something that has adds everywhere then you are just thinkin theyre on to you lol...or if its something that makes no sense on being there then lock you door go under the bed and turn of the phone the black bag sqaud is after you.....
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  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    Originally Posted by Nick Brighton View Post

    Yes ok, I know we are ALL being watched online... and tracked, and cookied, and tagged, and signed up... and split tested...

    ... but this I feel pushes it too far.
    Zuckerberg wants all privacy gone. He wants unrestricted access to your online behaviour and profile data. He thinks advertisers and businesses deserve that, because it helps them deliver what you want.

    I happen to agree. However, I also think that when you PUSH the issue, you create a backlash from the public.

    The DoubleClick ad network did this, and everyone had a cow. They had to back off and become just as crappy as every other ad network, instead of FREAKIN' AMAZING AT SHOWING EXACTLY THE ADS I WANTED TO SEE. And that made my life harder.

    When I wanted to buy something online, I just went to any site that ran ads from DoubleClick, and surprise! They were advertising what I wanted. Sometimes even before I wanted it. I'd be sitting around thinking "I need this thing," and remember that I saw an ad for it on DoubleClick last time I was online.

    But people did the same thing you're doing, and went "OMFG they're spying on me" and there was all this bitchery and then DoubleClick backed off and couldn't do as well as they used to, and then Google bought the company so they could have the database. (No major outcry on that. Hm.)

    So with Zuckerberg pushing this hard to cram personalised ads down your throat, there's going to be a backlash, and the only question is whether there are enough people like you to make Zuckerberg back down.

    I don't think there are.

    Even if there were, it's just going to be a short while before another situation just like this pops up, and there won't be as many of you protesting. Bit by bit, you'll give up, and the few hard-liners you have left will make their little militant anti-advertising underground and the rest of us will think you're weird.

    The question is how soon you want to come out here with the rest of us and just let it happen. What good is privacy anyway? The only real reason for a secret is so you can lie about it. You can say you didn't do that, or that you did something else, and nobody can prove otherwise.

    At some point, you'll figure out that we don't really care what you did.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Mayo
    LOL...It all boils down to Big Brother maybe Watching You...

    If that is how you feel then maybe you need to buy my New,
    Big-Brother-Watch-Buster-DoMoFloger. (Click Here)

    I promise it will keep you safe for at least the time it takes
    you to download it.

    Have a Great Day!
    Michael

    PS, Nick I'm just pulling your leg.
    Much better than pulling your finger!
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    • Profile picture of the author Amber Jalink
      Originally Posted by SteveJohnson View Post

      Explain to me how Facebook can take notes on what you do while you're on Google?

      Facebook must be running a keylogger on my machine, because they can't access Google's cookies.

      Mulder, Scully? Where are you?

      P.S. Actually, Steve above has the explanation that makes the most sense: that Google is sharing its info with all these other places and companies. I suppose it could be true.
      Originally Posted by Nick Brighton View Post

      Exactly. It must be a shared data thing. There's no way Facebook could have access to that cookie data without Google's consent or knowing.



      Re-targeting is something I've heard of recently, and I'm sure it will soon become the next buzz word in our community, but let's forget the buzz words for a moment...

      ... the fact is, whatever you want to call it, there must be some kind of partnership between Google and the sites that use re-targeting.

      Otherwise, I'm really scared.

      If that's the case, at least it's only a cookie (or is it?)

      Funny thing is, I've used Facebook ads and I can't see how you would re-target keywords or specific surfers with Facebook's standard ad/campaign creation tools.

      Perhaps that's for the "special" advertisers who spend a certain amount of zeros each day.

      Okay - here's the scoop. (And if you're an adsense publisher you should have seen this because you were "supposed" to add it to your own privacy policy).

      Google / Doubleclick / FB and anyone who remotely uses ANY of their systems or sees their sites (aka, adwords) has web beacons in their ad systems.

      Now, if you search your cookies for "beacon" you *might* find some, but they've gotten so good at hiding them, they don't call them "beacons" as much anymore.

      In short, yes, they are tracking cookies.

      They do "follow" in a sense, what you've looked at, searched on, and viewed. And yes, they will absolutely serve ads accordingly.

      What irritates me, is when you stumble upon a site you didn't *mean* to - and then you start seeing crappy ads for that particular niche. (i.e., sometimes people dupe a search engine link and direct you to a different topic... then you see the ads later).

      Here's what google says about it:

      Privacy Policy for Google Ads and the Google content network ? Google Privacy Center

      Now, you can't panic entirely about them - because pretty much all of our sites (including Warriors) uses cookies. It's how they know to keep you logged in, how clickbank knows you referred someone, and even submitting a form.

      So turning them off isn't smart, trust me you'll just have nightmares. (Half the time our member's problems logging in is because they have it turned off).

      Personally, I use Firefox, and I have my browser security/privacy settings to block cookies like G, doubleclick, casalemedia, and a few others.

      However, on occasion I use IE8, and every time I do, I follow up with a security scan on my system (F-Secure - hands down one of THE best antivirus/anti-spyware systems I've ever used) - and they always find it from the above and delete it.

      So either look at your cookies daily and delete any of the ad ones (particularly these offenders), or simply get a good program like f-secure (they have a free trial) - and they can watch it for you.

      Amber
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  • Profile picture of the author hendricius
    Delete all your cookies before loading a site and you are right, every one is being tracked, not much we can do about it though. We just have to be careful and act sensible.
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    • Profile picture of the author DogScout
      Originally Posted by hendricius View Post

      Delete all your cookies before loading a site and you are right, every one is being tracked, not much we can do about it though. We just have to be careful and act sensible.
      They do not care about 'cookies' they are tracking by IP. Privacy settings are to make YOU feel better but in my opinion are no more considered than a robot.txt is by Google. Think I am paranoid? I am, but that doesn't mean they are not tracking in ways you (and I) haven't grasped yet.
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  • Profile picture of the author secretlam
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    • Profile picture of the author MagicAce
      I didn't read all the replies but come on...Yes it can be true what you say but let me ask you this:

      Does this ever happen to you?

      You bought a car or a shirt or something that you liked...and the very next day you see that everywhere you go even you didn't see it before?

      You learn a new word or fact in an interesting manner and then you read that thing many times in all kind of sources but you didn't even observed that before? ( because you weren't really interested in it?)

      Let's call it...recognition of known facts, etc.

      Once you search for something on google you are interested in that...since it's become obvious to you when it appears in an ad...simple as that!
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      • Profile picture of the author halfbakedrew
        Originally Posted by MagicAce View Post

        I didn't read all the replies but come on...Yes it can be true what you say but let me ask you this:

        Does this ever happen to you?

        You bought a car or a shirt or something that you liked...and the very next day you see that everywhere you go even you didn't see it before?

        You learn a new word or fact in an interesting manner and then you read that thing many times in all kind of sources but you didn't even observed that before? ( because you weren't really interested in it?)

        Let's call it...recognition of known facts, etc.

        Once you search for something on google you are interested in that...since it's become obvious to you when it appears in an ad...simple as that!

        you are right about that, i tested this and you realy hit the spot.
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  • Profile picture of the author cadenmi562
    Yeah, nothing is private these days. It happens with almost every social networking site and its a great way to keep a direct contact with their users.
    I have tried it myself that if you change your profile info about your likes and dislikes then the ads also changes.
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  • Profile picture of the author erikainsandiego
    Check your privacy settings and keep everything general...don't put specific info about you anywhere on the internet! Getting someone's info online seems to be getting easier so just watch what you post.
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  • Profile picture of the author ash2611
    I knew that Facebook is collecting information about everybody for many purposes.
    I do not care much about my Facebook account, I have no use of it...Connecting with friends and family whom I know for all of my life? Why sharing our information with family and friends in public? Why not directly contacting them and exchange visits with them? If we have them far from us, it's ok, there are many ways to connect with them outside that facebook who is really watching everything and may be selling our information to other parties.
    For me, I will delete my profile there, I do not need it any more.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Jordan
    It's not only facebook that is doing that, gmail is doing it too. If you noticed on the right side of your gmail account you'll have advertisements depending on the keyword they found in your emails.
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  • Profile picture of the author ash2611
    I think Google Chrome is doing that too, I know some people who refuse to download it, and they prefer using any browser other than G. Chrome.
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  • Profile picture of the author FusciaPhoenix
    I think it shows us that nothing that we are told is "free" is really free at all. There is always another motive and cost associated with anything of value. So these so called free email providers and social media sites must wave the candy in front of us so we take a bite. That's when the fun begins, lol.

    How many here give away free incentives to get the sale on the backend? I think it's the same principle. Google search is "free", gmail is "free", and facebook is "free" or is it really?

    So from that, the more free and accessible the service, the more they will try to figure out ways to capitalize on it. Cha Ching!
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  • Profile picture of the author se7en
    This is good.Use it to micro target ads to Facebook demographics.
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  • Profile picture of the author AverageGuy
    technically, how could be possible that FB knows your Google search data? you sure is FB? not Google?
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  • Profile picture of the author Andy Smith
    I for one welcome our new facebook overlords!
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