Facebook is free. sort of. "When an advertiser runs a campaign on Facebook, we share reports about the performance of their ad campaign", said Goldman. It doesn't feel like an exchange because the entire objective of Facebook is to provide real information about your life to fill out your Facebook profile page.
Facebook is "free", you pay with your personal information. Websites and apps send Facebook information from Facebook tools, specifically those using Facebook Pixel, that are also used for targeting ads. This is, of course, a critical point for Facebook to make if it doesn't want to admit that, yes, it traffics in personal information.
The first involves information you choose to share about yourself when using the social network such as your age, gender or hometown.
As for users who don't want ads, Facebook essentially says too bad.
Hard question: "Am I the product?"
"Our product is social media - the ability to connect with the people that matter to you, wherever they are in the world". Facebook and Instagram, which Facebook owns, are still the dominant social media platforms.
"We know that many of you have questions about how we use your information in advertising - and what control you have over it".
One of the reasons Facebook has found itself in the hot waters is because it failed to protect user data - not necessarily if it sold that data to advertisers. The company calls it selling "space" on Facebook, similar to what it's like on TV, radio, or newspaper.
To say that Facebook's product "is social media" is a factual inaccuracy - Facebook has many products.
The social network wheeled out its VP of Ads to try and explain away the more disturbing details to emerge in the wake of the Cambridge Anal. scandal.
But even in the States, Facebook's use of facial recognition is coming under intense scrutiny, with a federal judge having decided earlier this month to allow a class action lawsuit over privacy violations against the company to proceed. In this instance, Facebook provides the advertiser with reports about the types of people seeing their ad and how the ad is performing but not personally identifiable information about you. "So, if an advertiser comes to us and says, 'All right, I am a ski shop and I want to sell skis to women, ' then we might have some sense, because people shared skiing-related content, or said they were interested in that, they shared whether they're a woman, and then we can show the ads to the right people without that data ever changing hands and going to the advertiser". The company continues to suggest that it has to rely on advertisers to make the platform "affordable" for everyone - something that it has been saying since Apple's Tim Cook took a jab on the social networking site for using people as its products. As CNET said in the article, if you delete your profile, Facebook will delete what it has from you.