Did you ever think about:

  1. What does Facebook know about you?
  2. How does Facebook know the people you already know?
  3. Does Facebook know what you search for on the internet?
  4. How are you getting the relevant sponsored content on Facebook?

Forget about all the above questions. Did you ever think about:

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How Does Facebook Know Everything About You?

Before discussing the above questions, I would like to share my experience with Facebook.

I created my first Facebook account back in 2011. I was not a fan of this social media network. But all my friends were creating the accounts, so did I. Those were the days’ Facebook at its peak. Even though Instagram & Youtube were already there, people tend to use Facebook. Because Instagram was very new to the industry and there was a misconception that Instagram is only for celebrities. And Youtube was very expensive because Mukesh Ambani didn’t start his telecom network Jio which brought the revolution in mobile data usage. So Youtube consumes more data for which we were not able to buy the expensive internet packs.

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 I used (had) my account for almost five years till it got blocked by Facebook in 2016. I contacted Facebook customer service and explained my situation. But no use. What I understood with that situation is, Facebook never gives back your blocked account. So I had two choices. Either create another account or stop using it. I voted not to use it. You banned me I banned you. Recently I needed a Facebook account for my work, so I lifted the ban. This time I was more conscious of their terms and conditions. 

The real story began here. 

As I needed the account only for my work, I didn’t send friend requests to anyone. After a few days, I had seen the people whom I know in the “people you may know” section. A bunch of questions started showering on me. So I wanted to find the answers to each of my questions.

I started at 

How Does Facebook Know The People You Already Know?

The first thing I focussed on was my ACCOUNT.

What were the details I provided at the time of account creation?

I used a new email address and phone number to create that account. No one from the “people you may know” suggestions can find the email address as it was my work email. Then my focus shifted to the phone number. I called everyone who came in my friend’s suggestions and whom I know. A few of them had my phone number and a few of them not. So it was 50-50. I wanted to dive deep. 

I started my research and completed it in two months with some interesting facts. 

These are my observations with my research.

Facebook collects users’ data from many sources like your email id and phone number to your device id.

In my case, it collected data from my mobile phone and mobile number. It has the data of my mobile devices in which I used my sim card and the Facebook accounts which I had accessed on those devices.

Suppose, I created an account using a phone number, and one of my friends saved that phone number on his mobile device. Then Facebook will show him/her in my suggestions. The reason is Facebook could access our contacts on our mobile devices.

The same is happening with email addresses also. If someone saved your email address on their phone with which you created your Facebook account, then that person will come in your suggestions.

This chain is longer than you think. But the only thing mobile users have to do is to allow Facebook to read our contacts.

It is only one case. Facebook uses your present geographical location, your native place, your school, your college, your company, and many more things to know about you. 


Does Facebook Know What You Search For on The Internet?

Yes, it knows!

Facebook tracks our web browsing history with the like button in their posts. If you click on “like ” and go to any website, then Facebook can access your browsing data. And it also tracks browsing data using Facebook Pixel which is an advertising tool owned by them. Once Mark Zuckerberg was asked whether Facebook tracks users’ web browsing data even after they logged out from their accounts? Then he looked uncomfortable to answer that question. So, many tech researchers believe that Facebook tracks our browsing data even after we log off.

How Are You Getting The Relevant Sponsored Content on Facebook?


Facebook uses the users’ data from the products they owned like Instagram. If you like a fashion-related post on Instagram, you will get the ads related to fashion on your Facebook account. It uses the Facebook Pixel tool to track the advertisements you already clicked on and the websites which you visit. So this is how you get relevant sponsored content on your Facebook account.


What Does Facebook Know About You?

Almost everything.

Yes! Facebook knows almost everything about you.

One more interesting fact is, Facebook has the data of people who are not members of it. It collects the data from their members’ photos, posts, and mentions and stores them in their database.

This is how Facebook knows about you, me, and everyone. 

I guess, these all are just a piece of ice in an iceberg which we hit incidentally or accidentally. There is a lot more to know about this iceberg by diving deep into the ocean called Facebook.

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Rajasekhar M
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