The ongoing Cambridge Analytica and Facebook data controversy doesn’t seem to be settling down any time soon. Just hours after the person responsible for Cambridge Analytica’s mess had some incendiary things to say about Facebook, the social media platform sent a message to its users.
In an FAQ post by Facebook, the question on everyone’s mind – “If I’m not paying for Facebook, am I the product?” – was answered once and for all from the company’s perspective.
“No. Our product is social media — the ability to connect with the people that matter to you, wherever they are in the world. It’s the same with a free search engine, website or newspaper. The core product is reading the news or finding information – and the ads exist to fund that experience,” explained Facebook.
The same FAQ also gave revealing answers on how exactly Facebook uses your personal data and how much advertisers who use that platform can know about you.
“We sell advertisers space on Facebook – much like TV or radio or newspapers do. We don’t sell your information. When an advertiser runs a campaign on Facebook, we share reports about the performance of their ad campaign. We could, for example, tell an advertiser that more men than women responded to their ad, and that most people clicked on the ad from their phone.”
However, they clarified their ad policy for all those uncomfortable with the advertisement ecosystem on the platform:
“You can’t opt out of ads altogether because ads are what keep Facebook free, but you do have different options to control how your data can and can’t be used to show you ads. They’re all found in ad preferences.”
At the moment Facebook doesn’t seem to have any plans to offer a paid version of the platform for those who want zero ads and no tracking.