Sydney woman who spoke to a friend about saunas horrified to find targeted ads on Facebook

A woman was left horrified after seeing Facebook advertisements for items she has only ever talked about.

Adelaide Bracey, 23, from Sydney, has raised her concern over advertisements on social media after a number of ‘creepy’ incidents.

A few weeks ago she had been chatting to a friend about saunas when advertisements for saunas popped up on her Facebook page.

Adelaide Bracey, 23, from Sydney, has raised her concern over advertisements on social media after a number of unsettling incidents 

Adelaide Bracey, 23, from Sydney, has raised her concern over advertisements on social media after a number of unsettling incidents 

Adelaide Bracey, 23, from Sydney, has raised her concern over advertisements on social media after a number of unsettling incidents 

'I didn't Google it — and then it comes up as an ad on my Facebook. It's ­really creepy,' she says

'I didn't Google it — and then it comes up as an ad on my Facebook. It's ­really creepy,' she says

‘I didn’t Google it — and then it comes up as an ad on my Facebook. It’s ­really creepy,’ she says

‘I didn’t Google it — and then it comes up as an ad on my Facebook. It’s ­really creepy,’ she told The Australian.

‘I type something in once or search for something and it follows me for the next few days, and sometimes it comes up even when you haven’t Googled it, but if I’ve spoken about it with a friend.’

Ms Bracey owns children’s entertainment company Periwinkle Parties and also gets advertisements for children’s school – yet she does not have any children of her own. 

The way social media users are targeted by businesses trying to sell a product has been questioned by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission.

The ACCC is proposing to change the Privacy Act to create better control over how Google and Facebook can track and use internet data. 

ACCC chairman Rod Sims said social media users might be more hesitant to share their search history if they knew how the data was being used 

ACCC chairman Rod Sims said social media users might be more hesitant to share their search history if they knew how the data was being used 

ACCC chairman Rod Sims said social media users might be more hesitant to share their search history if they knew how the data was being used 

Ad trackers are used to monitor users’ online behaviour. By gathering data, the marketing company can target advertisements online. 

ACCC chairman Rod Sims said social media users might be more hesitant to share their search history if they knew how the data was being used. 

‘The data collected from consumers using (Google and Facebook) ­extends significantly beyond the data that users actively provide when using the digital platform services,’ he said.

The ACC would like to see an opt-in option for consumers to have their data collected. 

Ad trackers are used to monitor user’s online behaviour. By gathering data, the marketing company can target advertisements online

Ad trackers are used to monitor user’s online behaviour. By gathering data, the marketing company can target advertisements online

Ad trackers are used to monitor user’s online behaviour. By gathering data, the marketing company can target advertisements online

In 2016, Facebook released a statement denying claims it listens to conversations. 

‘Facebook does not use your phone’s microphone to inform ads or to change what you see in News Feed. 

‘Some recent articles have suggested that we must be listening to people’s conversations in order to show them relevant ads. This is not true. 

‘We show ads based on people’s interests and other profile information – not what you’re talking out loud about.’

The statement went on to say the company will only access your microphone if you have given the app permission and if you are actively using a specific feature that requires audio. 

The Daily Mail has contacted Facebook for further comment. 

 

 

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