The Guardian

Facebook says all I want is babies and caviar. What else does it think it knows about me?

Every advertisement you see on the internet says something about you, gleaned from your online habits. You can find out what – and do something about it
Peter Dazeley / Getty Images

Why does Facebook keep pushing pregnancy tests on me? Who do they think I am?

Are you a woman in your mid-20s, perchance?

As a daily Facebook user at the peak of my fertility (well, I assume; its data-gathering hasn’t got that specific – yet), my feed is full of advertisements for Clearblue and its competitors. One called Natural Cycles appeared a few days ago because it sought to “reach women aged 18 to 45 who live, or have recently been, in the United Kingdom”. You might say it’s casting a wide net.

Advertising is one of those areas in which the internet, and Facebook in particular, wears its unsettling insights on its sleeve. Just about every ad you see online says something about you, your habits, interests and desires, as

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