You are here

How Much Data is Facebook Tracking?

The growing realization of the predictive power of data and analytics is causing trouble for companies and consumers alike. Companies are striving to squeeze all the data they can out of you without scaring you away, and some consumers are increasingly becoming more anxious over privacy concerns.

Social networking sites are among the chief concerns in this emerging conflict, and Facebook is doing what it can to respond. Two years ago, Facebook enabled users to access some of their data archive, and at the time users would find copies of their photos, posts, messages, list of friends, and chat conversations among other bits of data. Since then Facebook has expanded the amount of data it makes available to its users. In addition to everything previously provided, Facebook has thus far made available internet protocol addresses information and friend requests, and said more categories of information will be made available in the future.

However, these categories are a small subsection of a much larger data store Facebook keeps about users. Facebook has 84 data categories it tracks on each individual user and with this update, over half of the data catagories tracked are still invisable to users.

Facebook is particularly scary to some consumers, and has developed an interesting subculture of dissenters. Knowing your friends, hobbies, job history, location, and status updates among 79 other categories enables Facebook to know you by your data in a truly unique way. This has caused troubles with various institutions and governments over the years and most notably in Europe where internet privacy is rather strict.

The archive update is in direct response to demands from the Irish Data Protection Commission, and although it does provide more information to users, it is receiving considerable criticism for not going far enough.

“We welcome that Facebook users are now getting more access to their data, but Facebook is still not in line with the European Data Protection Law,” said Mr. Schrems, the law student who filed the complaint against Facebook. “With the changes, Facebook will only offer access to 39 data categories, while it is holding at least 84 such data categories about every user.”


 

Data Stories

How to increase sales by looking at your customer data

Are you a B2C company interested in increasing sales? If you have some form of customer data, you may be in luck.

IBM's Watson and the future of Healthcare Analytics

What would it be like to have a doctor who’s always up on the latest research and has learned about treatments from over 1.5 million previous cases? It would look alot like Watson, IBM’s Jeopardy! playing supercomputer that’s getting ready to roll out with an all new look and a Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center education in oncology.

How Facebook's Graph Search will affect Google, Technology, and Privacy

What has been both feared and expected is finally on its way: Facebook is building a better search; they're opening their vast stores of user data and giving us the ability to discover what’s inside. Lars Rasmussen, the mind that brought us Google Maps, is now hard at work creating Facebook’s new Graph Search, and from the looks of it, it’s going to put unprecedented power in the hands of its users.

How Big Data and Analytics will Change Society.

The mission statement of most police departments includes something like this, “our goal is to increase public safety, prevent crime, and protect human life.” With sufficient records of criminal behavior and analytics tools like Crimespotting, Cities can have the ability to predict when and where crimes are likely to take place and dispatch accordingly.

The Big Data Revolution

Want to learn more about how big data is changing business and how you can take advantage? Pick up our latest book: The Big Data Revolution.

"With everyone talking about Big Data and Data Science, its tough to know whom to listen to and how to make sense of it all. This book cuts through the noise and presents the reader with a roadmap for success. Whether you've been in this space for a while or are just coming up to speed, Secrets of the Big Data Revolution is a must read."
-Chris Crosby, CEO of Inflection Point Global


Trend Watch

What Higher Education Teaches us about Data-Driven Customer Retention

Rio Salado Community College is currently optimizing their student retention through focused testing and they are finding some truly telling results. We can learn a lot about customer retention and segmenting by studying what they've done.

The Growing Collaborative Consumption Market

Remember the Big Data mantra? how Big Data will enable us to better understand everything, reduce waste, and improve efficiency? Well honestly, without concrete examples it fades into the mass of voices shouting about how great the world is going to be. So lets take a moment to talk about collaborative consumption and it’s implications.

Andreas Weigend on the Future of Social Data

Dr. Weigend, Stanford Professor and former Chief Data Scientist at Amazon, tells us about social data and it's implications.

Big Data and Government Transparency

A wealth of government data is available to us today on .gov sites and private sites across the web. If we analyzed this data properly, we could build a rich understanding of how our government works and how it could be improved. But as the big data challenge dictates, the chokepoint is consumption.

Commentary

Gartner splits the 2014 Business Intelligence Magic Quadrant in two.

In an interesting turn, Gartner decided this year to split the annual Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms.

New Gartner Magic Quadrant: Advanced Analytics Platforms

The big story this year is how Gartner split the Business

How RoboCharm is using data to optimize customer interactions

Let’s face it, the ultimate goal for any use of data is to drive profits, and more often than not that comes back to learning how to enga