Facebook has its eyes and ears on you. If you have been using the Facebook app or the desktop application, everything that you do on the platform is being tracked by the company. Also Read - WhatsApp announces rollout of end-to-end encrypted backups for Android, iOS
But, little did people know that Facebook also keeps a track of what you do on other apps and websites. The company offers its users a tool called “Off-Facebook activity” that allows them to know what information Facebook is collecting when they aren’t using the app. Also Read - Facebook launches Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses alongside new Facebook View app
This is one of the ways that Facebook targets relevant ads to its users and at times its eerily specific to the dot. Also Read - WhatsApp multi-device for iPad users in the works, release expected soon
What is Off-Facebook activity?
Many apps offer users the ability to log in to their services using Facebook credentials. Dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, Hinge and even some gaming apps like Asphalt, Call of Duty: Mobile are among many other apps that use Facebook not only for login information but other details like name, email address and more.
Also, logging into another website using Facebook means that you are giving Facebook access to certain data about you on that website or app. All that data falls into the category of off-Facebook activity.
How to locate and manage Off-Facebook activity?
Facebook now gives you an option to keep a track of all your off-Facebook activity. Users can also download and delete that data if they wish to. You also have to option of restricting Facebook from tracking your future activity. This tool also allows you to manage your data and you get to choose how you want Facebook to treat it.
You can find the new Off-Facebook activity option by going to the app’s Settings and Privacy (on mobile) and tapping on Settings. You then need to scroll down to the Your Facebook information option and tap on Off-Facebook activity.
Off-Facebook activity lists all the apps that are sending data to Facebook and you can also manage the data using this option.
This is all the data that Facebook has collected from various apps in the past 180 days.
How to stop the Off-Facebook activity option?
Users have the option to stop Facebook from associating its data with other apps and website by enabling the Turn off future activity option. You can also activate the Give feedback about this activity option that helps you report any concerns you might have about the app’s activity tracking feature.
To download the data that Facebook has collected from these websites, tap on the Download your information option and it will save an offline report of all the previously tracked data.
Delete Off-Facebook activity
To make sure that Facebook doesn’t have any kind of off-Facebook data on you, tap on the Clear History option that deletes all the data that Facebook has saved.
Manage future activity will come in handy for users who want control over how Facebook treats the data that it receives from third-party apps and sites.
Just to clear the air, deactivating the Off-Facebook activity option does not mean that Facebook will stop displaying ads to you, will stop services from sending information about you to Facebook or even stop Facebook from tracking you elsewhere. This option basically disconnects your Facebook identity with the data that Facebook has on you.
While there are ways to manage your ad-data on Facebook so that you are shown more personalized ads, the only way to have an ad-free experience is via third-party tools.