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How to see everything Facebook thinks it knows about you

Published Jan 14th, 2016 10:11AM EST
Facebook Ad Preferences Data Collection

Like it or not, Facebook has been collecting information about you from the moment you created an account. It’s something that a huge percentage of users are uncomfortable with, but it’s a trade-off they’re willing to make in order to stay connected to the world’s largest social network.

What you might not know is that you can actually see what Facebook knows about you (or at least what it thinks it knows about you) with a few simple clicks.

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As The Independent noted earlier this week, Facebook thrives by utilizing the data it collects in order to serve its users ads that it thinks they might be more likely to click on. In order decide what to show you, Facebook looks at the information you provide when you set up your profile, what you click on while browsing your News Feed and information gathered from third parties once you leave the site.

Much of the information that Facebook gathers for advertising purposes is collected in a section called Ad Preferences, which you can find by clicking on the small arrow in the top left corner of an ad on your News Feed, selecting “Why am I seeing this?” and then clicking on the link that says “Manage Your Ad Preferences.”

Despite the fact that I’ve only “liked” a few pages in the years I’ve been active on Facebook, there are well over 500 preferences in more than a dozen categories that Facebook believes I’m interested in. I have the option to delete preferences that don’t apply and add new ones if I want, but it won’t change the frequency of ads that appear on my Feed.

Head to this link to see all of the ad preferences that Facebook has collected for your profile:

Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.