Social Media users basic data gets pulled into databases that can help advertisers target audiences for products.

Social Media users basic data gets pulled into databases that can help advertisers target audiences for products.

Users of social media networks have been noticing targeted advertising on their sidebar and find it as a form of invasion of privacy. However it is not an invasion of privacy, in fact when you sign up for a social network like Facebook, you agree to the terms of service and data is collected from your basic information, pages you like, statuses and apps can be used to help advertisers market to you.

According to a New York Times article, Facebook has made an agreement with the Council of Better Business Bureau to make Facebook users aware that they are being tracked so that advertisers can target them for business purposes. The agreement includes having an AdChoices icon on advertising that is on Facebook.

The agreement states, “The AdChoices Icon provides “clear, meaningful and prominent” notice and choice required by the Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising (OBA Principles) when consumers are served ads based on their interests as inferred from prior Web browsing activity over time across multiple websites. When consumers click on the Icon, they are taken to a page where interest-based advertising is explained and where they can choose to opt out of interest-based ads.”

Hersson Preciado, National Account Executive for ImpreMedia, the parent company of newspapers such as La Opinion in Los Angeles, handles a desk of business for ImpreMedia comprising from financial clients, auto companies and big entertainment studios. His job is to create and maintain relationships for the company with clients and their advertising agencies quarter to quarter.

“Social media is the new cool kid on campus,” Preciado said when talking about the role social media plays in advertising and his job.

“Everyone is buzzing about it. Either advertisers are re-evaluating their social media approach/reach or they are strategizing on hot to make a big splash on the scene when they finally do more than just “have” a Facebook and/or Twitter,” he said.

Many social media users click accept without even reading the terms of service. When you sign up for different websites you are agreeing to terms of service that often means you are allowing yourself to be marketed to through advertising.

Preciado would not say that ads that are like the ones on Facebook are an invasion of privacy but it is a trade…an exchange. “They (Facebook) allow you to use their platform to have access to it for free…and in turn they use your information,” he said.

“We have behavioral targeting on the sites that embed cookies on people’s browsers that let us know that pages they navigated. This lets us and advertisers retarget them and follow them through their news and information gathering session on our sites,” he said.

He charges advertisers to get deep information on the visitors to the websites.

Users need to be aware of what they are doing on social media networks. Preciado said he would tell users “that privacy settings protect you from other users and your information and habits is what you pay with (for using the site).”