According to a report from Mic, many online quizzes, on and off Facebook, are using your answers, as well as your likes and dislikes, to get insight into your interests.
“Any survey asking you anything, from, ‘What would you do in a certain situation?’ to your favorite color, is gleaning information about you that is useful to algorithms,” Dr. Max Kilger, the director of analytics at University of Texas at San Antonio, told the website.
By gathering answers about, say, your dream vacation spots and Harry Potter house, these websites can share this information with other companies that will target the ads you receive.
Before you stop taking quizzes altogether, here's some good news: There's a way to find out which websites are doing that. According to Pam Dixon, executive director of World Privacy Forum, the best way to learn if a quiz is collecting your data is by reading their terms of services, since not every quiz requires that you click on the “Agree” button before starting.
The news comes after the news that Facebook has decided to make some changes to their privacy tools following the massive Facebook “data leak,” and as users delete their accounts in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
“Last week showed how much more work we need to do to enforce our policies and help people understand how Facebook works and the choices they have over their data,” the social media platform shared in a statement. “We’re taking additional steps in the coming weeks to put people more in control of their privacy.”
Last week, Twitter user Dylan Curran, a technical consultant and web developer, shared some seriously sketchy findings about just how much information Facebook and Google store—without you even realizing it.
He uploaded all the info into an extensive Twitter thread that have us adjusting our settings… Like right now. See those here.
Facebook users have been calling for a Facebook boycott with the hashtag #DeleteFacebook, following the sketchy reveal that 50 million users' personal data had been compromised and ended up in the hands of Cambridge Analytica, the political data firm hired by Donald Trump hired during the 2016 election.
Cambridge Analytica collected data to target potential voters and, as reported by The New York Times, specifically placed political ads and stories at social media denizens based on the harvested information. Yep, this Facebook “breach” keeps looking more and more nasty.
As The Guardian previously reported, Facebook makes it hard for people to actually delete their accounts in the first place, and as users are sharing, they realize how much knowledge Facebook has once they delete their accounts—including those calls and messages, as well as contacts in their address books, their calendars and more.
Facebook responded, saying: “The most important part of apps and services that help you make connections is to make it easy to find the people you want to connect with. So, the first time you sign in on your phone to a messaging or social app, it’s a widely used practice to begin by uploading your phone contacts.”
It's time to go back and check your Third-Party App sharing—but at least now it might be easier to do.