Do You 'Like' Britney, Ali Forney Center and Bear World Magazine on Facebook? Chances Are Advertisers Think You’re Gay

Written by Teo Armus


A new study published in the journal "Big Data" found that ad campaigns can make inferences about whether a user is gay based on as little as three likes, even when users intentionally withhold their sexual orientation. As Facebook users express concerns regarding their privacy and how their personal information is being used, the study raises concerns about “outing” people who are closeted — or those who just don’t want companies to know their sexual orientation in order to show them targeted ads. "While some online users may benefit from being targeted based on inferences of their personal characteristics, others may find such inferences unsettling,” the study's authors, who hail from Columbia Business School, New York University and Northeastern University, wrote.
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