Micro.blog

cheesemaker
cheesemaker

I highly recommend downloading your Facebook archive. One file you will find inside is:

advertisers_who_uploaded_a_contact_list_with_your_information.html

This is a very surprising and alarming file, but definitely worth examining. Also, you really should shut down your account…

cheesemaker
cheesemaker

@AlanRalph I must not be very good at privacy because I have literally HUNDREDS of organizations/companies that I've never heard of or interacted with.

ronguest
ronguest

@cheesemaker For quite a while Google was the company that creeped me out the most - mining all email, searches etc. But then FB suddenly seemed to know things I couldn’t fathom. E.g. went to grocery store, bought a bottle of wine, that evening when I opened FB the first was for that exact brand and variety. I’d never bought it before nor seen a wine ad before on my feed. I am glad to have deleted my account, though I have zero trust anything was actually deleted.

smokey
smokey

@cheesemaker Yeah, this was the most confusing and disturbing file in my export; I’ve been meaning to write about it for a while. Nearly 2K worth of “advertisers”—realtors and auto dealers across the country, in places I’ve never gone or ever thought of going, conservative PACs, a few national brands, stuff I couldn’t even figure out what it was…only a couple I actually really knew of, and even then I don’t think they had any of my info. There are only 2 email addresses associated with my account—my Georgetown email, which I had to use at that time to join but otherwise was only used for receiving official email from the University, and the email I started using mostly with OSS projects and a few other things in the late 2000s.

It’s certainly possible that someone scraped that other email address from somewhere and then shared it widely, but I can also “link” bunches of the advertisers to friends, as in “that company seems local to Friend X, or a place where Friend X went on vacation—even if Friend X has never interacted with that company”.

So my thought is that, contrary to what’s implied in the name Facebook gave the file, these are all of the advertisers whose campaigns I was caught up in, but not necessarily because they had my email address or city; rather, the advertisers were allowed to target not only Person X who actually meets their target audience, but also “friends of (Person X who meets our target)” who clearly didn’t otherwise belong to the target audience and who they didn’t explicitly have any info for. // @ronguest @AlanRalph

DrOct
DrOct

@cheesemaker I deleted my FB account maybe... a year ago? I downloaded my data first but honestly haven't really looked at it, I just figured it'd be good to have. I'll have to check that out. That's pretty disturbing.

DrOct
DrOct

@cheesemaker Do you mind if a share a link to this post around? I think others would be interested as well.

cheesemaker
cheesemaker

@DrOct oh go right ahead. Thanks for asking!

DrOct
DrOct

@cheesemaker interestingly it looks like that file doesn't exist in my archive. Either I downloaded the wrong data before deleting my account, or they weren't including all that info in archives when I downloaded mine.