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Home / Tips and Tricks / Apps & websites Send your activity to Facebook – here you can view, manage and delete it «Smartphones :: Gadgethacks

Apps & websites Send your activity to Facebook – here you can view, manage and delete it «Smartphones :: Gadgethacks



At the moment it is almost certain that Facebook has a lot of a lot of data about us. Although you may be aware of the data you share with Facebook when you post, upload photos or chat with friends on Messenger, you may not be thinking about all the data it receives from websites and apps that you use outside of social media giant. Now you can really do something about it.

Thanks to the Cambridge Analytical scandal, where a third party could obtain tens of millions of unsuspecting Facebook user information, along with countless other security-related PR disasters, Facebook has increased user transparency. With the latest update you can view and manage your off-Facebook activity ̵

1; information that you did not know before.

1. What is activity outside of Facebook?

While Facebook receives a certain level of information on its platform, it is not the only data source that it obtains. Off-Facebook activity is information provided to Facebook by apps and websites that you visit. When you sign up for an app with your Facebook login or visit a website with a hidden Facebook tracker, all the actions you perform are sent directly back to Facebook.

Facebook explains that apps and websites can send this information to them using Facebook & # 39; s Business Tools, including Facebook Login, Facebook Account Kit (obsolete), Facebook Pixel and Facebook SDK, among others . The social network uses the information to personalize your Facebook experience, which essentially amounts to eerily relevant ads.

Facebook & # 39; s example of off-Facebook activity emphasizes how buying shoes on a site will lead back to more relevant ads on Facebook:

Jane buys a pair of shoes from an online clothing and shoe store.

The store shares Jane's activities with us using our business tools.

We receive Jane & # 39; s activities outside of Facebook and we store it with her Facebook account. The activity is saved as & # 39; the Clothing and shoes visited website & # 39; and & # 39; made a purchase & # 39 ;.

Jane sees an advertisement on Facebook for a 10% discount coupon on her next purchase of shoes or clothing in the online store.

2. What does Facebook do with your activity?

Of course at this stage you may be wondering what Facebook does with all the information they receive about your activities outside of Facebook. According to Facebook, there are five primary applications for your off-Facebook activity:

  • Show you more relevant ads.
  • Suggestions for groups, events or Marketplace items that Facebook thinks you like.
  • Help you find new companies and brands.
  • Helping companies and organizations understand how their websites, app or ads are performing and whether they are reaching the right people.
  • Identify suspicious activities to help protect Facebook.

If you use & # 39; just like me, none of those customs are relevant. It is logical that companies want information about how their marketing efforts are going, and certainly, it is a noble endeavor to ensure that Facebook remains a safe platform for users. But how many of us really want to see ads that match our personality or let an algorithm decide which groups, events or items for sale appear in our feeds?

As a side note, Facebook does emphasize that it does not sell collected off-Facebook data to anyone. It also prohibits companies from sharing sensitive information, such as passwords and financial data, with Facebook.

3. Find your off-Facebook activity

There are a number of ways to find the "Off-Facebook activity" page, as shown below.

Method 1: Via Facebook Settings

Tap iOS on the Facebook icon (f) in the bottom navigation bar. If it's an older Facebook version, tap the hamburger icon instead. On Android, tap the hamburger icon in the top navigation bar. On both platforms, scroll down, tap & # 39; Settings & Privacy & # 39; and then on & # 39; Settings & # 39 ;. Finally scroll down and select "Off-Facebook activity".

Method 2 : Via privacy shortcuts

You can also tap "Privacy shortcuts" in the "Settings & Privacy" section, then scroll down and tap "View or delete your off-Facebook activity."

4. View individual apps and site activity

On your "Off-Facebook activity" page, tap "Manage your off-Facebook activity" or the row of profile icons at the top to view a list of all apps and sites that Facebook has received information from.

Each source in the list contains the date on which Facebook received the information and a number above the icon, which indicates how many interactions were involved. The number is 20+ in the list, so if you had more than 1,000 interactions, it would still say 20+, which is a bit misleading.

Tap a source to see an overview of all activities. At the top you see the same "received" date, but the details below tell you what you need to know.

Option 1: How did Facebook receive your activity?

The first section outlines all aspects that have been recorded for data interactions with the app or site. The number of options displayed here may vary depending on the app or website and how you use them.

You are logged in with Facebook

If you use Facebook login to log in to an app or website, Words with Friends, it is displayed here in the list of activities. There is not much here because it only means that you are logged into the service with your Facebook username and password. If you tap it, you get more information and you get a link to "Manage apps and websites" if you want to remove login rights.

Shared with Facebook business tools

You may then see "This activity was shared with Facebook business tools." By tapping on it, you get an overview of Facebook Business Tools, which we briefly mentioned earlier have discussed. Because it all comes down to marketing and advertising, the data is used for targeted advertisements, creating customer groups and measuring advertising performance, among other things. Tap "More information" here for a more detailed description of Business Tools and how it works.

Number of interactions received

Next, you see the number of interactions that Facebook has received from the source. By tapping the number, you get a general description of what it means exactly. Interactions are, in principle, the times at which you have connected to the relevant site or app, intentionally or behind the scenes. Facebook offers the following examples of what it could include:

  • An app opened
  • Logged in to an app with Facebook
  • Visited a website
  • Searched for an item
  • Added an item to a wish list
  • An article added to a shopping cart
  • A purchase made
  • A donation made

Interestingly, companies can also make custom interactions, the nature of which is not clear. Facebook uses the example of a company that uses a customized interaction to bring together a unique group of customers to show them a specific advertising campaign on Facebook. But there are certainly more ways in which it can be used (or misused) by companies and Facebook.

At the bottom of the page you can choose "Download activity data". Strangely enough, tapping this option will take you to the general "Download Your Information" page, not just information regarding your interactions or activity with that specific app or website. We will discuss this later.

The date updates have been received.

Another that may appear is: "We are showing you the date on which we received updates from [App or Site Name]." We do not know for sure why it does not appear on every source, but the information card states that companies can report your interactions later, not necessarily when they occur. Anyway, the date on top is the "Last received" date that Facebook is talking about.

Option 3: What you can do?

In the "What you can do" section in the activity details of the app or site Activity details you can actually do something with your collected information!

View the app or site

The first option is to visit the website or Facebook page of the relevant source. If that source does not have a connected website or Facebook page or website, you will not see this option, even if there is indeed a site or page.

5. Accessing your information

Whether you are on the main page "Off-Facebook activity" or the page "Manage your Off-Facebook activity", you can tap the ellipse (•••) at the top right to select "Access" You can also tap & # 39; More options & # 39; on the main page & # 39; Off-Facebook activity & # 39; to find the option.

Here you will find all data that Facebook has about you (with which you still have access) .This information includes things such as messages, photos & videos, comments, likes and comments, friends, etc. If you want to dive into it, just tap on one of the options and then on one of the relevant subsections.

The options presented in each category will be completely different. & # 39; Messages & # 39; for example, has six subsections, each with information about messages. & # 39; Comments & # 39; on the other hand, has only one subsection & # 39; Comments & # 39 ;, which you can use to scroll through your entire comment history

By tapping a subsection, you can manage that information in more detail. Some, such as & # 39; Notes & # 39 ;, allow you to hide that information from your timeline or, if it's your own message, delete it. Others, such as "Your photos & # 39; s," take you to a page where you can view them all so that you can manage your information in the same way as in your main profile.

If you want, tap "Download your information" at the top of the section Access your information to access the settings for "Download your information" (more on that below).

6. Downloading your information

Now let's talk about the "Download your information" page mentioned above. It is a strange choice for Facebook to link to it from your off-Facebook activity because it is the general download page, not specifically for off-Facebook information. That said, you can download your off-Facebook activity here, but it's not clear from the start. (Remember: you can reach this page at the bottom of the "Interactions" page, the "More options" menu or the ellipse at the top right).

What Facebook Should Do Probably is here clearly showing how you can download your off-Facebook activity from, at least when you link from the off-Facebook activity sections. But we will help you through it instead. First, the option that you must select here is already selected. Facebook selects all download options by default, so if you choose to immediately create your download file, download all the information that Facebook allows you.

Instead, let's look at the option that we want to download. That will be & # 39; Ads and Companies & # 39; under Information about you . If you remember this from above, that section in "Access to your information" contained the "Off-Facebook activity" link. That is precisely why this option is what you must select to download your off-Facebook activity. Of course, that is not only your off-Facebook activity – it will also include ad topics, advertisers who have collected information from you and information that you have provided to advertisers, in addition to off-Facebook activity.

7. Erase your history

If you want a clean slate when it comes to your off-Facebook activity, look no further than "Erase History". You will find "Delete history" as an option on the main page "Off-Facebook activity", but also at the top of the page "Manage your off-Facebook activity".

Tap this option and Facebook lets you know what will happen if you decide to go through it. All activity history is disconnected from your account (which means that Facebook still keeps that anonymous information), but Facebook still receives information from the apps and sites you visit; you may be logged out of apps and websites, which means that you must log in again; and you still see the same number of ads, they will probably be less relevant until Facebook rebuilds your information.

If you like these changes, tap "Clear History" to confirm.

Cover image and screenshots by Jake Peterson / Gadget Hacks

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