Facebook is watching you – but soon you will be able to control how it uses that data

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Have you ever wondered why Facebook showed you that advertisement for a new flatscreen TV, or a cheap flight to Bermuda? Soon you will be able to find out.

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Facebook has announced that it will soon give its users, starting in the US, the option to alter the profiles that drive the ads they see.

In a post on its Newsroom blog, Facebook said: “People tell us they want more control over the ads they see. That’s why we’re introducing ad preferences, a new tool accessible from every ad on Facebook that explains why you’re seeing a specific ad and lets you add and remove interests that we use to show you ads.

“So if you’re not interested in electronics, you can remove electronics from your ad interests.”

Facebook will roll out ad preferences in the US over the next few weeks, and plans to expand globally in the coming months.

Of course, it would lovely if we could just ask Facebook to stop watching our online movements in the first place.

Stuart O’Connor