Those Facebook 'likes' can reveal a lot more than you think.
Research released Monday shows patterns from these Facebook preferences can provide surprisingly accurate estimates of the user's race, age, IQ, sexuality and other personal information.
The researchers developed an algorithm that uses Facebook likes -- which are publicly available unless a user chooses stronger privacy settings -- to create personality profiles, potentially revealing a user's intimate details.
These mathematical models proved 88 percent accurate for differentiating males from females and 95 percent accurate distinguishing African-Americans from whites.
The algorithms were also able to extrapolate information such as sexual orientation, whether the user was a substance abuser, or even whether their parents had separated.
This data can be used for advertising and marketing, but it also could make users cringe because of the amount of personal data revealed, the researchers said.
"It's very easy to click the 'like' button, it's seductive," said David Stillwell, a psychometrics researcher and co-author of the study with colleagues from Cambridge University and Microsoft Research.