Facebook has been promulgating the fact that they will be enacting new “terms of service (ToS) and conditions” starting on January 1st, 2015.
Happy New Year! All you have to do to agree to the new terms is to continue using the site.
Despite the fact that I suspect they could already do this, it seems the new Facebook ToS includes a new feature to track your location, and if you look at subscriber numbers that means tracking 1.3 billion users. If you think about it, that is a lot of computing power to track your footprints.
Let’s be honest too, in the premise that this will work because 99.99% of all Facebook users would rather agree to the new (or any) TOS and sign away some privacy rights than get kicked off. Some of that is laziness on the part of the users who don’t care as long as they get what they want, and the other part is how our lives are already so deeply entrenched in the site, is it not? And that’s what FB banks on! Lazy and hooked.
This new policy of tracking users supposedly gives more control to the user also, whereas you might have the ability to go into your profile and control what Facebook does with your online activity. On the other hand there will also be some features that provide location info on (and to) your friends. Their other sales pitch for our acceptance is that some of the new features will magically improve the battery life on your cell phone and help in signal strength.
The real trick behind the move, because face it, giving you more of what you want is not what sells ad space on FB, is about knowing where you are so that the ads you see are better targeted to you, or, targeted to your location. That means that as you might be driving be an REI, you might get an ad from REI promulgating their sale prices.
So if you want your buddies to track you, that’s fine. Being as how that is an option. But this also helps the advertisers track you.
Now before you get stir crazy about the following, remember, Google has been doing this to you for a very long time via your smartphones while your desktop and laptop computers have been doing things like this for an even longer time via cookies. Little benign text files saying, yes, I was visiting this and that site. Those cookies can also be read by other applications to tell or hint to them your probable likes and dislikes.
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