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Off-Facebook activity tracking: What it means, and how to stop this

Facebook recently launched its Off-Facebook activity tool that essentially gives users more control over how the websites and apps that they use, share data with the social media giant.

By: Tech Desk | New Delhi | Updated: February 1, 2020 8:49:39 am
facebook, facebook off facebook activity tool, facebook off-facebook tool, facebook new privacy tool, facebook privacy, facebook off activity tool how to use Facebook says this data is used to “personalize your experience, such as showing you relevant ads”.

Facebook recently launched its Off-Facebook activity tool that plans to gives users more control over how their data is shared by other websites and apps with the social media giant. Off-Facebook activity would include information shared by other online business, organisations, which is shared with Facebook when a user visits any of these apps or websites.

Facebook says this data is used to “personalize your experience, such as showing you relevant ads”, but as it comes under increasing scrutiny over how it handles user privacy, questions have also been raised over this ‘off-Facebook’ tracking.

With the new tool, Facebook is finally planning to give users more control over how it gets access to users data. Facebook will give users the option to turn-off their off-Facebook activity tracking. But keep in mind that if you are logging into an app using Facebook, then the data sharing will continue.

What does turning off this ‘Off-Facebook’ activity do?

Facebook says turning off the ‘Off-Facebook activity’ result in the user no longer seeing personalised advertisements based on their daily online activity. But Facebook will continue to get some data.

“We’ll still receive activity from the businesses and organisations you visit. It may be used for measurement purposes and to make improvements to our ads systems, but it will be disconnected from your account,” says Facebook.

How to turn off ‘Off-Facebook’ activity sharing?

To check which apps and websites have been sharing your data with Facebook, head over to Facebook Settings > Your Facebook Information > Off-Facebook Activity.

There’s the option to download the complete list of your off-Facebook activity shared by websites and apps as well as the option to clear this history.

Use the “turn off future activity” toggle for individual businesses or flip the blue toggle on right from Manage Future Activity tab to turn off your off-Facebook activity.

Even with this option turned on, Facebook has clarified that businesses and organisations are prohibited from sharing sensitive information with it, such as health and financial data.

Also read: Facebook spies on you to serve ads: Stop it with this new tool

Facebook’s Off-Facebook activity tool was announced in August last year, and the company has finally made it available to its users, thanks to increased concerns and scrutiny over data privacy. This is perhaps among a few tools that offers more transparency to its users over their activities on other apps and websites from within Facebook itself.

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