A new marketing platform released by Facebook will be able to piece together information about you when you are no longer on their site. For years Facebook has been able to track its users through the use of the ‘Like’ button on third party sites. Every time someone pressed the Like button information about that site and page were added to a user profile kept by Facebook. For years Facebook claimed it would never divulge this information to other parties. Now, it seems, it may have changed its mind.

The new advertising platform released by Facebook is named Atlas. It will grant subscribing advertisers access to this data. This access will allow them to recognize when you visit their site and to construct ads tailored to your profile. Facebook has called this “people-based marketing.”

Whatever its name it is using your own browsing habits to identify and profile you.

The crunch comes when one considers that with Atlas the power is entirely taken away from the users. Until now browsers have had the option of clearing their cookies folder, and thereby wiping away their browsing history as it appeared to websites. But with an external profile accumulating, and being available to advertisers, big brother is always watching.

facebook1If you log into Facebook with your phone, Facebook has linked your phone’s identification with your Facebook account. The same with any device you may have used. So when you surf the net, regardless of which device you use, the advertisers subscribing to Atlas will know it’s you. The information they collet, then, will be added to your existing profile

Nor will you have access to this profile.

Facebook has sought to hose down speculation about privacy issues by claiming the information collected does not individually identify anyone. This information is used solely to help advertisers reach their intended audience.

But as Facebook has shown, they could change their mind.

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