Facebook can tell your sexuality from just three page likes

Your sexuality can be identified from just a few Facebook likes, a new study has found.

US researchers found that as few as three likes on the social network can reveal whether you’re gay to advertisers.

Facebook is known to reveal data users may be uncomfortable with people knowing, including information shared by others, browsing history and location data.

It can also identify what types of personalities users have from what they have liked, which is a key indicator of their interests.

Now researchers are calling on social networks to introduce a “cloaking system” to prevent such information being exposed without their permission.

(Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images for Somerset House)

RELATED: Hillary Clinton responds to Russian government’s secret gay Facebook page

The study from researchers at Columbia Business School in New York, Northeastern University in Boston, and New York University aimed to understand what Facebook can know about users – such as sexual orientation, IQ, whether they smoke or drink, political beliefs and religious beliefs.

Experts were able to identify a person’s traits from fewer than eight likes.

For example, liking pages for Lady Gaga, the Human Rights Campaign, the TV show True Blood and Harry Potter are likely to mean Facebook identifying someone as gay.

Businesses are now actively using the data to target advertising.

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