Facebook is better known for privacy issues that its users are confused about, and here is yet another Facebook privacy chaos. The social media giant has crossed the limits of privacy and has now decided to track the apps that you use on Facebook via your mobile phone.
In the latest report by WSJ, Facebook is launching a new way of serving ads for mobile users by keeping a track of the apps that they use. The social network, which currently has over 900 million users, would use its Facebook Connect feature that enables millions of users to log into applications using their Facebook ID and password, to track consumers’ apps, and serve ads accordingly.
The advantage Facebook will have here is that the ads won’t necessarily be based on anything you or your friends have “liked” in the past, but will be based on the apps you have installed and the data collected from it.
This is done in order to display relevant ads and target the right customers. It is very much similar to what Google has done by unifying its privacy policies and displaying personalized advertisements by filtering out unwanted ads.
The problem, however, is the users’ privacy. According to the WSJ, the main problem is that “the product allows Facebook to know which apps users have downloaded on their phones and then target ads based on that information.”
Unlike its traditional way of serving ads by considering users’ own preferences, friends, and their “likes”, the new Facebook mobile ads serving method is completely different, if you ask. Earlier, with the permission of the user (by “liking” a product or company), Facebook would show a promotional content in the news feed, however, with the new ad serving methods, you will be displayed with certain targeted ads based on your activities and apps without your permission.
Users cannot opt-out of this mobile advertising no matter what as this is a forced change just like the Timeline feature. This is definitely a problem that users will face and is likely to strike privacy fears.
It is also known that Facebook is planning to release tools for developers to take advantage of the new mobile ad unit sometime at the end of this month.
Facebook, after it went public in May 2012, is under immense pressure to generate revenue, especially through mobile devices, since nearly half of the users on Facebook use the network via their mobile devices. The company is yet to recovery complete from its IPO failure. Facebook has been working hard to get more users to use the site via mobile devices and is now figuring out a way for advertisers to reach them.