What elaborate algorithms does Facebook use to suggest "People You May Know"? The company is notoriously tight-lipped as to how your Tinder matches and other randos end up in there -- acknowledging only that it shows you people based on mutual friends, work and school info, phone contacts, and "many other factors."
But thanks to a recent Fusion story, Facebook admitted to something many have long suspected: simply being in the same location as someone else could land them among your suggested friends.
As Facebook notes, location info is just one of the "many other factors" it uses, but it certainly explains why your coffee shop barista or that woman from your spin class popped up in there. This admission (which it's since mysteriously and sketchily walked back) has obviously terrifying implications -- what if you're somewhere you're, um, not supposed to be, or somewhere where privacy and anonymity is paramount?
Along with geo-targeting ads to specifically show you products and services in your immediate vicinity, recent reports reveal that the company's started tracking which stores you visit (in order to let advertisers know if their online ads are working).