LEE COUNTY, Fla. - Recently, a new bill was introduced in congress. The "do not track list" would in theory help keep your social network information, private. So what information is being tracked right now? We did a test to find out.
One of our producers, in her 20's just change her relationship status to "engaged." It took about ten minutes for the ads on her profile to take on a wedding theme.
"This is what keeps the internet free. Somebody's got to pay for it," FGCU professor Dr. Millie Wells, told WINK.
A new gallup poll just out showed seven in ten Facebook users worry about privacy. This as the federal government considers a "do not track" list that could in theory protect you from giving away too much personal information. The proposed "do not track" list could work like the do not call list. The FTC says it should let people opt out completely and let people chose whether or not they want to get targeted ads.
Facebook's own targeted ad page shows businesses that for just about anything you select on your profile, there's a way to let advertisers mine that information and target you with ads.
Back to our experiment. Another one of our producers who just found out she's pregnant announced the happy news on Facebook. Within a day, she started getting ads like one headlined, "soothe your baby" from the web site "learningcurve.com."
And as for our first producer, Ashley, the wedding ads keep coming in. Including one from a local wedding photographer, Naples Videography and Photography.
"My wife does Facebook, so we just decided to kind of pursue that avenue," said owner Joe Brincku.
Brincku bought that Facebook ad and said it doesn't bring in a lot of business; but Facebook, does.
"We use Facebook as a tool to more or less keep a relationship with our customer," he explained.
There are some things you can do if you don't like being tracked. On just about any website where you surf, pay attention to where your personal information is going. And look for ways to "opt out." Facebook says it does not read what's in your status updates or conversations. The company says that's not even possible.