Now hear it again…
Facebook IS SPYING on you.
I can’t recall ever seeing an ad for an antacid or reflux medication on my Facebook feed…ever. I haven’t searched or even typed “Reflux” or any related search term in my phone, computer browser, or anywhere.
Last night I mentioned aloud that I was going to take some Tums because I was feeling a bit “reflux-y.” Fifteen minutes later, browsing my Facebook feed, I see this:
This is not the first time something like this has happened, but it IS the most obvious example. In the past, there have been many times I’ve seen posts/ads related to things I’d searched for outside of Facebook. Proving they reach deep into other, non-Facebook ecosystems to gather as much intel on us as they can.
But clearly they are also listening even when we are not actively using the App.
Here are just a couple of the more recent articles relating this this problem. And it’s not just Facebook, folks…
I set up this blog a few days ago as an alternative to sharing on Facebook. I figure I can post my “Facebook-worthy” content here and, as I see fit, share links to my Blog posts on Facebook.
Today I have officially uninstalled the Facebook App from my phone. This isn’t another one of those “Ermergerd! DeLeTe FaCEbOOk” posts. We all know that course or action rarely works out. But we can be more careful…
Here’s what I’m going to try:
- Primarily only use Facebook via the Webpage on my Desktop (without a camera or microphone connected; limiting their ability to spy on me)
- When I do feel the need to use Facebook on my Phone, I will only use it via the web browser. I prefer Firefox as they have made great efforts of late to help protect your privacy. You can even go to https://m.facebook.com in your phone browser and add it as a Shortcut to your home screen. That way, you can access it like an App, but not have the Facebook App installed (and always listening in the background).
Be sure you double-check your Permissions for Firefox (or your browser of choice) to deny access to the Camera and Microphone. I personally see no reason why a mobile browser would ever need access to these, and Firefox does not request them
Also, consider taking the same precautions with Instagram, since Facebook owns them, too.
Those who want to keep up with me and my life, I appreciate you! You can bookmark this blog and even pull the RSS feed into an aggregator of your choice to easily see my posts. I will continue to share these blog posts to Facebook for a while, as well. In the meantime, I will be purging all the Apps, Pages, and other crap that have accumulated access/association with my Facebook account over the years.
Some good, regular housekeeping is always necessary!