Who tracks Mac, iPhone, and iPad users more than Google? Facebook. To many of Apple’s customers, Facebook is the internet and no company does a better job of tracking, gathering, slicing and dicing personal data than Facebook. Remember that the next you open up Facebook on your Mac or iPhone and see an ad that appears to be tailor made for you. It was.
Online tracking may benefit Facebook and its many advertisers in much the same way that Google’s massive tracking operation knows where you browse, what you read, where and what you buy, but how exactly is it good for you the Mac, iPhone, and iPad user.
Beware the dangers of online tracking.
Facebook’s advertisers have many dozens of data points that can help them target a product or service to match your online profile. Here’s a sample.
- Education level
- Field of study
- Ethnic affinity
- Income and net worth
- Home ownership and type
- Home value
- Property size
- Square footage of home
- Year home was built
- Household composition
Wait a minute. Isn’t that mostly generic information with little value? Your neighbor next door might know exactly the same thing.
That information is collected over time, and combined with dozens of additional data points to form a profile that then gets matched to advertisers who can also adjust their message and product or service offerings to be more attractive to you when you’re online.
- Users who have an anniversary within 30 days
- Users who are away from family or hometown
- Users who are friends with someone who has an anniversary, is newly married or engaged, recently moved, or has an upcoming birthday
- Users in long-distance relationships
- Users in new relationships
- Users who have new jobs
- Users who are newly engaged
- Users who are newly married
- Users who have recently moved
- Users who have birthdays soon
- Expectant parents
- Mothers, divided by “type” (soccer, trendy, etc.)
- Users who are likely to engage in politics
- Conservatives and liberals
- Relationship status
Does that not make you feel more like you’re being stalked than tracked? Is it any wonder that a growing number of internet users have added ad blockers to their Macs, iPhones, and iPads. Yes, even Apple allows for ad blockers on the iPhone.
Facebook’s tracking is so ubiquitous and thorough that it saves data on who your employer is, what industry you work in, your job title, what kind of car you own or plan to buy and how much money you will spend. Of course, Facebook– and Google– know everything about the devices you use while on the internet; your browser, your device, how often you use it and when, but they both know about your credit history, your friends, preferences in entertainment, what credit cards you use, what kind of beauty or health products you buy, and much, much more.
All that information is gathered, sliced, diced, and Julienned in ways that are not beneficial to you. They’re beneficial to Facebook and Google and their respective advertisers. But not beneficial to you.
You’re not being tracked online. You’re being stalked.
Earlier this year I joined with a few other Apple-centric websites and completely removed any form of tracking from my site, NoodleMac. No Google Analytics tracking. No advertiser tracking. No tracking. Not even a website cookie.
Click Here to find out why, what tracking does, why no tracking is beneficial, and what it all means. Click Here to find a way to see what is tracking or stalking you while you’re online and how to stop it.