- Facebook is launching its long-awaited privacy tool, “Off-Facebook Activity,” which allows users to keep track of the details that third party apps use them.
Today, Facebook is launching its long-awaited privacy tool, “Off-Facebook Activity,” which allows users to keep track of the details that third party apps use them.
To coincide with Data Privacy Day, the social media giant has released the app to allow users to remove from their account any information that the company has posted and to stop showing targeted ads. Facebook vowed last year to strengthen privacy controls following a US Federal Trade Commission fine of $5 billion. The FTC’s decision to settle for a relatively small fine was criticized by industry commentators after the company’s privacy violations were uncovered in the 2017 Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Last year alone, Facebook posted revenue of $17.9 billion between July and September.
By going to Settings > Your Facebook Data > Off-Facebook Activity, Facebook users will now be able to see what data apps and websites have sent via the platform. Users can then remove their account information and toggle off potential “non-Facebook activity” This should extend to all apps and websites so that they can no longer share the behaviors of users with Facebook.
Our Off-Facebook Event System is open to people around the world on Facebook as of today. Many companies send us information about your activities on their websites and we use the information to show you relevant ads. You can now see a list of that information and if you want to take it out of your account.
Off-Facebook activity marks a new level of accountability and control. We have been working on this for a while, because to make this possible, we had to upgrade some of our systems.- Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook Blog.
It means that Facebook won’t know which websites a user has visited and what they’ve looked at–but don’t delete the user’s data. The data will instead be anonymized before sharing it with advertisers. Quick all the revenue from Facebook comes from ads. Facebook also sends users a prompt to check their privacy settings, with a nudge at the top of their newsfeed to go to Privacy Checkup.
Steve Hatch, Northern Europe vice president at Facebook said: “There are several ways you can control your Facebook information, and we’re always looking for more ways to do that. That’s why from today, our Off-Facebook Activity tool will make it easy to manage which apps and websites can access your information.”