In 2018, Facebook devoted itself to the issue of data security and has customized many privacy settings, as well as focusing on training everyday users. In this context, Pew Research conducted a study to verify the knowledge and understanding of users on the topic of personal data protection.
The survey was conducted in the US between October 1 and 4, 2018, and included a sample of thousands of Facebook users over the age of 18. Pew Research looked at how many users knew about privacy and what type of data Facebook collects regarding their activities on the platform, including advertising and targeting.
Each study participant was asked to check the “Preferences for Advertising” and to think about the data that Facebook collects about them. The results of the study show that despite the emphasis on privacy controls and despite the awareness that Facebook has been trying to raise throughout the year, most users do not know what information the platform collects and how it uses it.
74% of users did not know that ad categorization and a list of their interests existed. As soon as they found out more about it, 51% of the surveyed people responded negatively to Facebook’s practice of categorization. 59% of respondents said that Facebook correctly categorized their real interests.
Pew Research has also explored issues of users’ political stand and racial/ethnic/cultural details. 51% of respondents had a political label on their profile, 21% listed their cultural specifications, and more than half of the sample surveyed said their political and ethnic categorisation was accurate.
You can read the full report in the following link.