[SMK] Social Media Knowledge


Facebook Advertisers able to target Shadow Profiles

Facebook’s methods to learn your interests, even with new security restrictions, has some users wondering what the point of hiding personal information really is.

I see you

In the wake of millions of users restricting access to their own personal information, advertisers can still hone in on your shadow profile.

What is a “shadow profile?” Well, have you ever given your phone number to Facebook for two-factor authentication? Or a friend shared your email with some app’s contact import feature?

Phone numbers and emails are the heart of your shadow profile and though invisible to others, advertisers can use this crumb trail to target you with ads, business as usual.

The ad side of things

Advertisers don’t have too many obstacles to use your info. All they need to do is upload the numbers and addresses collected, and use them to factor you into a custom audience.

What this means is even users who provided their phone number purely as a measure of security have also been used in providing advertisers personal information.

The issue is that Facebook has not been as transparent as they claimed when coming to selling your info to advertisers and that half-measures haven’t done the trick. Could be stormy seas for Facebook in the days to come.

Are you surprised to hear how accurate your “shadow profile” can be? Are you surprised on how Facebook collected some phone numbers? Let us know in our comments.


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