If you thought Facebook wasn’t intrusive enough already, it’ll now begin tracking which stores you visit. This means we’re all officially one step closer to living in a real-life version of the Minority Report.
The social media giant’s doing this because it wants to determine whether or not its advertisements actually lead to in-store visits. In other words, if you receive an ad on your Facebook page for Hudson’s Bay, for example, and then you actually visit a Hudson’s Bay store,
Big Brother Facebook and The Bay will know.
“Advertisers will know when someone has visited their store,” a Facebook spokesperson said.
And don’t be fooled, you don’t have to “check in” to a shop for Facebook to know you’re there. It already knows thanks to its location services feature. Fortunately, you can opt-out of this new feature simply by turning location services off within the app itself. The way to do that depends on exactly what device you’re using, but you usually just have to go into “settings” and then “location.” Once you’re there, change the option to say “never.”
For the record, the information collected is all anonymous. Which means Hudson’s Bay would know that someone who saw an add for their store on Facebook actually visited, but they wouldn’t know who it was. Furthermore, there are benefits to leaving Facebook’s location services on, as it can tell you what stores (and even friends) are in your area, among other things.
Just always remember, folks: the internet is watching.