Facebook knows everything about you


MEMBER NEWS - 13.07.2017

Facebook does not clearly inform its users about passing on their personal information to advertisers. This is the result of the latest research done by Consumentenbond, The European Consumer Organisation’s Dutch member group, on Facebook’s advertising business model.


An illness, people’s political preferences and important financial decisions consumers want to make (e.g. taking out a mortgage or life insurance) – it is likely Facebook knows about it and shares this information with advertisers. The result: advertisers can target Facebook users on the basis of characteristics which are unknown to them.

How does it work?

Facebook analyses what items users click on, what they like, share and which website they visit. On the basis of this behaviour they categorise the user according to certain interests. Advertisers can target Facebook-users based on these interests.

What’s the risk?

It allows companies, for instance insurance companies, to show health insurance advertisements to people who have shown an ‘interest’ in a certain illness. It would also enable this insurance company to target only healthy Facebook-users by excluding everyone whose online behaviour might indicate he or she has an illness. Quite a scary thought.

Watch this video (in Dutch with English subtitles) about the research: