Face­book tar­gets fam­ily with ad­ver­tise­ments

The Star Early Edition - - LIFESTYLE VERVE -

MANY Face­book users may al­ready find it unset­tling when the web­site shows them ad­verts for things they’ve looked at else­where on the in­ter­net.

But the so­cial me­dia gi­ant is about to get even more creepy – by tar­get­ing whole house­holds at a time. Those who see an ad­vert for a ho­tel in France, for ex­am­ple, could find the rest of their fam­ily have been shown the same one.

Face­book hopes they will then sit around the din­ner ta­ble mak­ing their hol­i­day plans and will all come up with the same idea.House­hold tar­get­ing could also be used to try to per­suade ev­ery mem­ber of a fam­ily that they need a house­hold sub­scrip­tion to Net­flix, or to im­prove the qual­ity of gift-giv­ing – by show­ing a hus­band the ex­act item his wife de­sires.

But the scheme has sparked con­cern among Face­book users, who do not want to give the rest of their house­hold clues about the things they have signed up to.House­hold tar­get­ing could spoil birthday sur­prises by re­veal­ing what a loved one has bought, or ex­pose cheat­ing spouses by send­ing part­ners ads for dat­ing web­sites or ro­man­tic get­aways they’re not in­vited on. Face­book users can tech­ni­cally opt out of the scheme in their pri­vacy set­tings, by untick­ing the cat­e­gory which says they are a “mem­ber of a fam­ily-based house­hold”.

Face­book al­ready uses “cook­ies” – data sent by web­sites you have vis­ited. It uses this to make sure you see ad­verts for items you are likely to be in­ter­ested in.

That is why, when you look at a prod­uct on a shop­ping site, you of­ten see an ad­vert for it on Face­book. It matches peo­ple’s sur­names, com­pares the places they have “checked in” to­gether, and looks at the in­for­ma­tion peo­ple give away about them­selves.

It also uses lo­ca­tion data, in­clud­ing peo­ple’s post­code or their IP ad­dress. – Daily Mail

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.