Aleksandra Korolova, a University of Southern California computer science professor, has shared a post on Medium diving deeper into Facebook’s targeted ad technology. Specifically, Korolova focuses on how Facebook is able to deliver location-based ads even if you disable location services.
Korolova says that she has the Location History functionality disabled through Facebook’s website, and has Location Services for Facebook on iOS set to “Never.” She adds that her Facebook profile does not contain her current city, nor has she uploaded photos to Facebook or posted content tagged with her location. Korolova says she also doesn’t share location with WhatsApp, Instagram, or Facebook Manager.
Despite this, however, she says she continued to see ads targeted for “people who live near Santa Monica” and “People who live or were recently near Los Angeles.” Korolova lives in Santa Monica and works in Los Angeles. Further, some of the ads were accompanied by an explanation saying Korolova was “recently near their business.”
With all of this in mind, Korolova dug deeper into how Facebook gathers location data for its targeted advertising. In Facebook’s “How Facebook ads work” explainer, the company says it gathers data from sources including “Where you connect to the Internet” and “Where you use your phone.”
And a rhetorical question: Why Should Anyone Believe Facebook Anymore?