Facebook’s People You May Know suggestions and detailed friend insights stem from the existence of Shadow Profiles, a behind-the-scenes collection of your connections and activities on the platform. Discover the implications of these covert profiles and their impact on your online experience.
Facebook Shadow Profile
How Is Facebook Related to Shadow Profiles
Ever since data leaks from Facebook came to light back in 2019, Facebook has been into many controversies involving privacy and data security. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, was also in a streak of sessions with the American Congress involving privacy concerns. The short story is that Mark acknowledged Facebook collects data on users who are not signed up to Facebook and profiles them in their user database, essentially tagging them under Shadow Profiles.
This is a good time to add or remove Admins from your Facebook page if you don’t want to be linked to other people.
While Mark denied knowing the term “shadow profile” because it is mostly used by privacy advocates and data security personnel, this doesn’t change the fact that Facebook collects data that you’ve not authorized the platform to collect. Regardless if you’re a user or not.
Which Data Is Being Stored in My Shadow Profile
These shadow profiles may or may not contain photos of you that were posted by your friends on their profile, or the dinner you had last week. Earlier Facebook also launched a face recognition tech but later shut its operations stating privacy concerns and deleted over a billion user’s face data from their servers which further raises questions.
How Does Facebook Gather Data for Shadow Profiles
Imagine you’ve gone out with your friends for a weekend getaway, but Facebook is constantly tracking you for what app you’re using on your phone, what food you ordered, who you met with today, what hotel you chose on Kayak, etc.
According to the media.ccc research, over 61% of apps they tested automatically send data to Facebook the moment you open the app including your advertising ID, personalized tags, and other personal data. This was also shown with a live example of the Kayak app sending data requests to Facebook and many other data companies. So even if you haven’t signed up on the app, Facebook is tracking your actions.
The majority of apps nowadays use the Facebook SDK, which allows them to have options like “Login with Facebook” or “Continue with Facebook” etc. which makes it easier for users to log in, but also puts their privacy at risk.
There is also the question of leaks that happen in data centers. There have been data leaks before which have compromised some users’ profile data and it was also acknowledged by the social media giant.
Facebook Shadow Profiles
Know beforehand how to log out of Facebook on all devices and what happens when you do so if you still want to keep using Facebook.