Is Facebook selling our information?

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Facebook has become the world’s most successful social media network with over 900 million users. But despite a huge user base, the company is still encountering difficulties in making money out of such an immense audience via advertising.

As such, Facebook has come up with many ways to generate revenue using advertising. There are various privacy issues at stake, especially for users in the United States and Europe.

Although Facebook is implementing measures to safeguard the privacy of its users, there are speculations that the company is selling personal information to third parties or advertisers according to a report that was published in the Wall Street Journal.

The report is based on Facebook’s advertising programs, dubbed as Custom Audiences and Facebook Ad Exchange. These programs enable third parties to buy advertising that targets users based on different parameters associated with their personal information.

Facebook Exchange appears to track based on generalities or commonalities among users. On the other hand, Custom Audiences allows advertisers to cross-reference a user’s email address or phone number with Facebook’s library of user data.

To clear the air regarding these issues, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said such programs are not selling users’ private information to advertisers.

“We won’t sell it to you, we won’t sell it to anyone,” she added.

Although Facebook might not be selling our personal information to gain revenue, its Custom Audiences program enables advertisers to cross-reference important user data. Specifically, advertisers can confirm whether a user is really using this email or that phone number.


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