Facebook will start telling advertisers what its users are saying about their products on the social media site.
The social media giant announced its plan this week to show marketers “what audiences are saying on Facebook about events, brands, subjects and activities” so they can get a “holistic and actionable view of their audience for the first time.”
“Marketers want to understand what people think about topics related to their business, so they can make their products and marketing more relevant to their customers,” Facebook’s press released announced. “In the past they’ve looked at the things people share online to get an idea of what people care about, but, until now, the information available offered a limited view.”
“To make marketing content more relevant for people and more effective for marketers, we’re introducing topic data to select Facebook partners.”
Facebook claims the program will strip “identifying information” from the data, but the social media giant doesn’t exactly have a stellar track record when it comes to its users’ privacy.
Furthermore, the press release doesn’t indicate whether users can select to opt-out of the program, which is a notable omission.
This program once again underscores how Facebook practically claims ownership on just about everything published on its site, including personal conversations, leaving its users with no realistic expectations of privacy.
Recently one Facebook user, Daniel Kapp, wrote a status message announcing he was battling cancer, and not long afterwards he started seeing ads on Facebook for funeral homes.
“I was just knocked off my feet to see that there on the screen,” he said. “It is just completely insensitive, and every time I tried to delete it, it appeared again.”
Facebook isn’t alone in this mass data collection; yesterday we revealed that Apple is recording and transmitting the voice data of Siri users.
“By using Siri or Dictation, you agree and consent to Apple’s and its subsidiaries’ and agents’ transmission, collection, maintenance, processing, and use of this information, including your voice input and User Data, to provide and improve Siri, Dictation, and dictation functionality in other Apple products and services,” Apple’s iOS Software License Agreement states.
Samsung’s ‘Smart TV’ is likewise recording consumer’s personal conversations for third-parties through its use of its’ voice recognition technology.
The technology can be used to spy on people in their own living room, according to Michael Price, counsel in the Liberty and National Security Program at NYU School of Law.
“I do not doubt that this data is important to providing customized content and convenience, but it is also incredibly personal, constitutionally protected information that should not be for sale to advertisers and should require a warrant for law enforcement to access,” he wrote.