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Facebook has assigned you "categories" for ads, here's how to turn them off

(WBRE/WYOU) -- If you're a Facebook user, listen up!  Eyewitness News is learning more about the data scandal, and more users may have had their information misused than previously thought.

Facebook now says up to 87-million users may have had their data exploited by Cambridge Analytica.  That's about 25% of the entire U.S. population.

Facebook also revealed that the network allowed third-parties to scrape some users' profile information.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a conference call Wednesday that users who were affected had a search setting enabled that uses an email address or phone number to find profiles.

"It is reasonable to expect that if you had that setting turned on that at some point in the last several years, someone has probably accessed your public information," said Zuckerberg.

That had the staff at Eyewitness News wondering about what other information might be out there.

Some of those ads you scroll by are based on categories that Facebook assigns to you.

The network said those labels help advertisers reach people who are most likely to be interested in their products.

Some of them are what you might expect, like a birthday month or the type of phone you're using on the app, but others are more specific, like "close friends of men with a birthday in seven days" or "returned from a trip two weeks ago".

Facebook even tries to guess your political tendencies.  So how can you remove those labels?

Here's what to do:

From your Facebook account (on a desktop computer), click on settings (top right of your screen), then ads (left of your screen), your information, your categories, and click on the "x" to delete it.

On Monday, Facebook said the service will begin alerting users if their data was improperly shared.

The network will add a link to the top of the news feed that will show users which third party apps can access their profile information.


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