Posted On 07 Sep 2019
A lack of user privacy has been one of the major complaints about Facebook, but the company has now released a new feature that shows you what other apps and websites are sharing with Facebook, and how you can control it.
The new feature is Off-Facebook Activity, allowing you to see the data available to third-party apps and how they employ it. One example might be that you’re considering buying a hybrid vehicle; Facebook can tap into your searches and will start showing you adverts for that type of vehicle.
The new OFA feature allows you to tell Facebook to stop sharing any information derived from your profile, and the targeted advertising will disappear. Facebook has promised to improve users’ privacy, particularly after they were recently fined $5 billion by the FTC.
The advertising library on Facebook is also being updated, so that users will have the chance to click on “why am I seeing this ad?” and also “why am I seeing this post?” This allows you to keep track of the ways Facebook decides what you’d like to see.
This new feature is currently offered only to users in Ireland, South Korea, and Spain, but it will go global quite soon.
Users will be able to employ the business tools on Facebook to show the data Facebook has received from other apps and websites. If you wish, you can strip this information out of your account and tell Facebook to stop gathering information in future. Simply go to Settings> Your Facebook Information>-Facebook Activity and this will be available.
This will prevent any information that identifies you, your interests and preferences from being revealed to Facebook, although it’s worth noting that the data is being made anonymous, rather than being completely deleted.
If you want to take control of the advertising you’re shown on Facebook right now, before OFA is made available, just go to the Settings page and choose Preferences; in the Advertisers and Businesses section you will see the advertisers that have targeted you using Facebook information, and you can block any you wish from targeting you in future.