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Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg makes billions by learning everything about you to sell ads

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March 26, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – In response to the scandal which broke last week over alleged misuse of its users’ personal information, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has been doing damage control in order to minimize the PR fiasco which has resulted in his company losing $70 billion in value in just a few short days.

Zuckerberg has apologized for the ‘Cambridge Analytica scandal’ where a political-based company harvested data inappropriately. While this harvesting of data is problematic, it may also be alarming to many Facebook users that the social media giant essentially mines data from its own users and turns what it learns into profits. 

The multi-billionaire Zuckerberg explained a bit of how this works in an interview with CNN last week. 

“You know, one of the big misconceptions about Facebook is this idea that we somehow sell data. We don’t sell any data to anyone and that’s actually a really key part of the model,” he said.  

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Zuckerberg went on to make the point that it would be foolish for his company to trade away valuable information which gives the company a competitive advantage. He pointed out that his company earns income by targeting Facebook users on behalf of advertisers, since it is able to micro-target various demographics among its two billion users. 

What this means is that Facebook is essentially watching its users, mining information from them and turning what it learns into riches for Zuckerberg. That information — and the seemingly benign collecting and stockpiling of it — is what has made Zuckerberg one of the wealthiest men in the world. 

“It's not a stretch to say that Facebook knows everything about its users,” reports ny-ave.com.  “You personally can relate to this when you've noticed ads in your Facebook newsfeed that have been eerily well-suited to your taste and interests. This is no coincidence. Facebook advertising compiles user data to offer marketers with a wealth of targeting options--98 personal data points to be exact.”

Here are the 98 ways Facebook keeps tabs on you and two billion other people: 

1. Location
2. Age
3. Generation
4. Gender
5. Language
6. Education level
7. Field of study
8. School
9. Ethnic affinity
10. Income and net worth
11. Home ownership and type
12. Home value
13. Property size
14. Square footage of home
15. Year home was built
16. Household composition
17. Users who have an anniversary within 30 days
18. Users who are away from family or hometown
19. Users who are friends with someone who has an anniversary, is newly married or engaged, recently moved, or has an upcoming birthday
20. Users in long-distance relationships
21. Users in new relationships
22. Users who have new jobs
23. Users who are newly engaged
24. Users who are newly married
25. Users who have recently moved
26. Users who have birthdays soon
27. Parents
28. Expectant parents
29. Mothers, divided by “type” (soccer, trendy, etc.)
30. Users who are likely to engage in politics
31. Conservatives and liberals
32. Relationship status
33. Employer
34. Industry
35. Job title
36. Office type
37. Interests
38. Users who own motorcycles
39. Users who plan to buy a car (and what kind/brand of car, and how soon)
40. Users who bought auto parts or accessories recently
41. Users who are likely to need auto parts or services
42. Style and brand of car you drive
43. Year car was bought
44. Age of car
45. How much money user is likely to spend on next car
46. Where user is likely to buy next car
47. How many employees your company has
48. Users who own small businesses
49. Users who work in management or are executives
50. Users who have donated to charity (divided by type)
51. Operating system
52. Users who play canvas games
53. Users who own a gaming console
54. Users who have created a Facebook event
55. Users who have used Facebook Payments
56. Users who have spent more than average on Facebook Payments
57. Users who administer a Facebook page
58. Users who have recently uploaded photos to Facebook
59. Internet browser
60. Email service
61. Early/late adopters of technology
62. Expats (divided by what country they are from originally)
63. Users who belong to a credit union, national bank or regional bank
64. Users who investor (divided by investment type)
65. Number of credit lines
66. Users who are active credit card users
67. Credit card type
68. Users who have a debit card
69. Users who carry a balance on their credit card
70. Users who listen to the radio
71. Preference in TV shows
72. Users who use a mobile device (divided by what brand they use)
73. Internet connection type
74. Users who recently acquired a smartphone or tablet
75. Users who access the Internet through a smartphone or tablet
76. Users who use coupons
77. Types of clothing user’s household buys
78. Time of year user’s household shops most
79. Users who are “heavy” buyers of beer, wine or spirits
80. Users who buy groceries (and what kinds)
81. Users who buy beauty products
82. Users who buy allergy medications, cough/cold medications, pain relief products, and over-the-counter meds
83. Users who spend money on household products
84. Users who spend money on products for kids or pets, and what kinds of pets
85. Users whose household makes more purchases than is average
86. Users who tend to shop online (or off)
87. Types of restaurants user eats at
88. Kinds of stores user shops at
89. Users who are “receptive” to offers from companies offering online auto insurance, higher education or mortgages, and prepaid debit cards/satellite TV
90. Length of time user has lived in house
91. Users who are likely to move soon
92. Users who are interested in the Olympics, fall football, cricket or Ramadan
93. Users who travel frequently, for work or pleasure
94. Users who commute to work
95. Types of vacations user tends to go on
96. Users who recently returned from a trip
97. Users who recently used a travel app
98. Users who participate in a timeshare

The chief computer scientist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Peter Eckersley, calls Facebook’s methods “the most invasive in the world,” according to an August, 2016 report in the Washington Post. 

“Facebook’s business model is to amass as much first-party and third-party data on you as possible, and slowly dole out access to it,” Eckersley said in the report. “If you’re using Facebook, you’re entrusting the company with records of everything you do. I think people have reason to be concerned about that.”



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Doug Mainwaring

Doug Mainwaring is a journalist for LifeSiteNews, an author, and a marriage, family and children's rights activist.  He has testified before the United States Congress and state legislative bodies, originated and co-authored amicus briefs for the United States Supreme Court, and has been a guest on numerous TV and radio programs.  Doug and his family live in the Washington, DC suburbs.