Friday, 15 June 2012

Facebook allowing advertisers to use your browsing data

Everyone knows that Facebook has adverts, and more often than not these advertisements are tailored to your likes within Facebook itself. Once you like a particular product on Facebook, adverts on the side will normally be related to the products you have 'liked' on Facebook. But Facebook has now taken another step in ensuring their advertisers are getting the best possible deal when using their service.

A Bloomberg article on Wednesday reported that a new service called 'Facebook Exchange' will allow advertisers to target an audience based on their browsing history. Your computer stores your history via cookies and the Facebook Exchange program will place these cookies on third-party sites (usually when a user has shown an intent to buy).

A cookie, also known as an HTTP cookie, web cookie, or browser cookie, is usually a small piece of data sent from a website and stored in a user's web browser while a user is browsing a website. When the user browses the same website in the future, the data stored in the cookie can be retrieved by the website to notify the website of the user's previous activity. Cookies were designed to be a reliable mechanism for websites to remember the state of the website or activity the user had taken in the past. This can include clicking particular buttons, logging in, or a record of which pages were visited by the user even months or years ago.

Once your cookies have been stored, the Facebook ads you see may be related to them. So if you have been browsing the web for some computer parts, your computer will remember this and thanks to Facebook Exchange, this will increase the chance that you will see ads on your Facebook related to computer parts.

Up until this point in time, Facebook has targeted you based on your interests you have shared over the social network and have not been linked to your browsing history outside of the site.

The idea behind this is that the program will give advertisers a better sense of whether you really intended to buy something or not - this allowing them to target more effectively.

What do you this of this? Have Facebook taken their advertising plan too far? Do you think this is an invasion of privacy?

Let us know in the comments


Post a Comment