Facebook using GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth to personalize experience

FILE - In this June 11, 2014 photo, a man walks past a Facebook sign in an office on the Facebook campus in Menlo Park, Calif. Facebook’s recent effort to force people to adopt its standalone mobile messaging app has privacy-concerned users up in arms. In truth, Facebook Messenger isn’t any more invasive than Facebook’s main app _or other similar applications. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Facebook is getting even more up close and personal.

With the New Year, comes new ways the social media network is using information it learns about you.

The main policy change that seems to have grabbed the most intrigue is that Facebook will be using GPS, Bluetooth and Wifi signals to personalize your Facebook experience. But, the info they’re gathering on you is actually nothing that new — what they’ll be doing with it is.

Facebook says it will be giving it to marketers in hopes of providing more targeted, and even area-specific ads. Facebook will also use it to connect you with friends nearby. This is a service they already provide if you choose to participate.

One huge thing Facebook launched ahead of this term change is an incredibly detailed page called “Privacy Basics.”  This walks you through the process, for instance, on how Facebook uses your location or maybe what you’re shopping.

“They are basically saying these are the things that we are going to do with this data about you — a lot of these things are already happening and Facebook is just saying exactly what we’re doing behind the scenes so that people can be comfortable knowing here’s exactly who this information is being shared with and the purposes it’s being collected for,” said Stephen Voida, IUPUI Asst. Prof, Human Centered Computing.

In some areas a “buy button” will be launched Jan. 1 — allowing users to purchase items without leaving Facebook.

It’s the way many other websites gather information on users as well. Still, if you’re uncomfortable with it, you can always disable your Bluetooth, WiFi and GPS.

Also in newer browsers there’s a setting that allows you to let websites know you don’t want them to track that info about users. It’s a setting users must dig for under preferences and whether the websites respect those wishes is up to them.

For a direct link to the Privacy Basics page click hereFor a more on how Facebook planned theunveiling click here.

Comments are closed.