TECH

Facebook's Location Ads Just Got That Little Bit Creepier

10/11/2015 09:52 GMT | Updated 10/11/2015 09:59 GMT

Facebook's location based ads have just reached a whole new level of personal. The new feature will allow small businesses to track your location and then send ads to you if you're near their location.

The feature is being rolled out now and gives small businesses the added bonus of throwing in the name of the town or city you're in as well.

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Example: There's a small chain of independent coffee shops with stores in Glasgow, Leeds and Bristol. You travel to Glasgow. Facebook knows you're in Glasgow and will the tailor the coffee shop ad to suggest that as you're within a mile of its location, why don't you try a delicious coffee.

Great if you love coffee, not so great if the idea of your every location popping up on adverts makes you feel like you're in an Orwellian novel.

OK so the fact a small coffee shop now knows exactly where you are doesn't sound too bad, but for many it could be a step too far.

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Rafael Laguna, CEO of secure communications company Open-Xchange believes that this new form of 'Minority Report' style advertising is the beginning of the end for people's tethers.

“This is yet another example of Facebook monetising our data and playing god with it. And it has to end. Online adverts have been silently stalking us for years, but the shift from being watched online to being followed in-store could be a step too far for users."

"People are becoming increasingly aware of their privacy in light of recent data breaches and Snowden revelations. And advertisers need to realise that “targeted” isn’t always welcome, especially when it starts to boarder on creepy.”