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Bye Bye Facebook Tracking

If you followed the news, you will be aware of the scandal surrounding Cambridge Analytica: the gathering of private information of millions of Facebook users against their will and knowledge. And what does Facebook do? Shrug its shoulders and blame anyone else, but themselves.

Can we trust Facebook with our private information? We don’t think so and as a precautionary measure, we de-activated Facebook's plugins on our website. No more tracking by Facebook on Idin Jewellery!

Out of curiosity, we did have a look on what information Facebook stored from our own personal (yet hardly used) Facebook accounts. Finding tons of old and long forgotten posts, images and videos is not a huge surprise. Seeing all your friends and people you ever interacted with (or refused a friend request) didn't raise our eyebrows either. All in all, there wasn't much that would have upset us - except for one find that was a bit alarming: A profile of advertising " interests" - industries for which - according to Facebook - we have an interest in and we are likely to click or interact one way or the other with it.

But the bigger concern is what Facebook & Co. REALLY knows about you. Facebook may tell you everything they have stored about you (things that you knew anyway), but how can we be sure that this is really everything they have on their records about you? There is speculation that Facebook even saves everything you typed on its platform, even if you never submitted that particular post and deleted everything that you have typed. Given what a paradise Facebook is for advertisers - it allows to narrow down the target demographics very narrowly - they most likely create profiles about you, your family and friends and all your interests. They probably more about yourself than you do! A scary thought.

As to the 'Why is Facebook collecting all these data?': The answer is simple. The more they know about a person, the more tailored an advert can be made for that particular person or group of people that fit a certain profile. To give an example: Say you are a shop selling luxury baby products in Sheffield: Facebook knows so much about its users, you can create an ad on Facebook to target all women who are currently pregnant, live within 20 miles of Sheffield, have an income of at least £75,000 a year, show an interest in the latest fashions and read books about pregnancy and childcare.

Rather than hoping for the best and trusting an organisation that repeatedly fails to take responsiblity for their own actions and don't consider the safeguarding of YOUR private information to be of any significance, we certainly won't help them in their quest of selling off your shopping habits, interests, etc. Of course, you can still give us a like on our Facebook page or interact via their platform. But our website won't give Facebook any information anymore. You can also give us a like via our website, but this works without any plugin or code from Facebook; we simply redirect you to their page.

Why did we use Facebook's so-called Pixel plugin before? Tracking codes are useful for operators of websites - and of course also online shops - as they provide useful insights in a customer's behaviour. This in turn gives the opportunity to improve the website and the overall shopping / website experience. It doesn't mean, the operator of the website is spying on you (and in fact, all data received from Google, Facebook, etc. is anonymous). That's why we have used Facebook's plugins in the past and we are still using Google Analytics to monitor our websites.


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