Facebook lets advertisers target users based on sensitive interests

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Facebook allows advertisers to target users it thinks are interested in subjects such as homosexuality, Islam or liberalism, despite religion, sexuality and political beliefs explicitly being marked out as sensitive information under new data protection laws. The social network gathers information about users based on their actions on Facebook and on the wider web, and uses that data to predict on their interests. These can be mundane – football, Manhattan or dogs, for instance – or more esoteric. An investigation found that Facebook is able to infer extremely personal information about users, which it allows advertisers to use for targeting purposes. Among the interests found in users’ profiles were communism, social democrats, Hinduism and Christianity.


Facebook lets advertisers target users based on sensitive interests