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Apple slaps Facebook with iOS 12 “anti-Facebook” measures

Apple's privacy controls just got a big boost with iOS 12.
SAN JOSE, CA - JUNE 04: Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering Craig Federighi speaks during the 2018 Apple Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) at the San Jose Convention Center on June 4, 2018 in San Jose, California. Apple CEO Tim Cook

Apple’s privacy controls just got a big boost with iOS 12. The tech giant (seriously… 67% of Americans have an Apple product) is going hard on Facebook’s data mining practices. 

If you didn’t know about Facebook’s data mining practices, have a seat. Facebook tracks you around the web even when you’re logged out of it. It does this through a creepy little thing called Facebook Pixel, which is a transparent pixel that sits on web pages and reports back to Facebook which sites you’ve been to. On one hand, it’s a marketing person’s dream: you have unparalleled knowledge of your customers. For everyone else, it’s creepy. It bypasses traditional website cookies, so even if you have your browser privacy settings like Fort Knox there’s still plenty of ways for Facebook to know where you’ve been browsing. And since the Pixel is transparent, there’s very little way for you to know that you’re being tracked. 

With Apple’s upcoming iOS 12, they plan to stop the tracking by notifying users about Facebook’s privacy overreach as it happens, in real time. A pop up will appear asking if you want Facebook to track you. One can imagine that this will be a full-blown option in the near future, after people a) realize how many sites are tracking them and b) get tired of constantly being asked if they want to be tracked. For too long we’ve allowed this to happen, and, quite frankly, it’s good that Apple is doing something about it. 

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If you’re still interested in knowing just how much Facebook knows about you, The Washington Post compiled a 98-point list of the categories that Facebook’s advertising overreach can put you in, based on the websites you visit and what you share on the site, and your “liking” history: 

  • Location
  • Age
  • Generation
  • Gender
  • Language
  • Education level
  • Field of study
  • School
  • Ethnic affinity
  • Income and net worth
  • Homeownership and type
  • Home value
  • Property size
  • Square footage of home
  • Year home was built
  • Household composition
  • Users who have an anniversary within 30 days
  • Users who are away from family or hometown
  • Users who are friends with someone who has an anniversary, is newly married or engaged, recently moved, or has an upcoming birthday
  • Users in long-distance relationships
  • Users in new relationships
  • Users who have new jobs
  • Users who are newly engaged
  • Users who are newly married
  • Users who have recently moved
  • Users who have birthdays soon
  • Parents
  • Expectant parents
  • Mothers, divided by “type” (soccer, trendy, etc.)
  • Users who are likely to engage in politics
  • Conservatives and liberals
  • Relationship status
  • Employer
  • Industry
  • Job title
  • Office type
  • Interests
  • Users who own motorcycles
  • Users who plan to buy a car (and what kind/brand of car, and how soon)
  • Users who bought auto parts or accessories recently
  • Users who are likely to need auto parts or services
  • Style and brand of car you drive
  • Year car was bought
  • Age of car
  • How much money user is likely to spend on next car
  • Where user is likely to buy next car
  • How many employees your company has
  • Users who own small businesses
  • Users who work in management or are executives
  • Users who have donated to charity (divided by type)
  • Operating system
  • Users who play canvas games
  • Users who own a gaming console
  • Users who have created a Facebook event
  • Users who have used Facebook Payments
  • Users who have spent more than average on Facebook Payments
  • Users who administer a Facebook page
  • Users who have recently uploaded photos to Facebook
  • Internet browser
  • Email service
  • Early/late adopters of technology
  • Expats (divided by what country they are from originally)
  • Users who belong to a credit union, national bank or regional bank
  • Users who investor (divided by investment type)
  • Number of credit lines
  • Users who are active credit card users
  • Credit card type
  • Users who have a debit card
  • Users who carry a balance on their credit card
  • Users who listen to the radio
  • Preference in TV shows
  • Users who use a mobile device (divided by what brand they use)
  • Internet connection type
  • Users who recently acquired a smartphone or tablet
  • Users who access the Internet through a smartphone or tablet
  • Users who use coupons
  • Types of clothing user’s household buys
  • Time of year user’s household shops most
  • Users who are “heavy” buyers of beer, wine or spirits
  • Users who buy groceries (and what kinds)
  • Users who buy beauty products
  • Users who buy allergy medications, cough/cold medications, pain relief products, and over-the-counter meds
  • Users who spend money on household products
  • Users who spend money on products for kids or pets, and what kinds of pets
  • Users whose household makes more purchases than is average
  • Users who tend to shop online (or off)
  • Types of restaurants user eats at
  • Kinds of stores user shops at
  • Users who are “receptive” to offers from companies offering online auto insurance, higher education or mortgages, and prepaid debit cards/satellite TV
  • Length of time user has lived in house
  • Users who are likely to move soon
  • Users who are interested in the Olympics, fall football, cricket or Ramadan
  • Users who travel frequently, for work or pleasure
  • Users who commute to work
  • Types of vacations user tends to go on
  • Users who recently returned from a trip
  • Users who recently used a travel app
  • Users who participate in a timeshare

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