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 & # 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 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.