How many apps and websites are watching you?
Facebook will begin notifying 2.4 billion of its users that they need to review their privacy settings. You’re almost assured to receive the notification over the next couple of weeks. What does it mean?
The social media network just released to all of its users a way to see and clear the history of which websites and apps are sharing your information with Facebook. “Off Facebook” can be found within your privacy settings.
We all know that Facebook shares our likes and interests with advertisers but many don’t know that websites and apps share our web and phone activity with Facebook. When you log into an app or website using your Facebook profile, it gives the company the right to access some of your Facebook information such as friends list and likes but also gives those companies the right to share data on what we do on their website or using an app.
For instance, some websites will share with Facebook what we are shopping for, what we add to a web cart or wish list, what we’ve purchased or where we made a donation. Those companies share the data with Facebook that, in turn, will send us targeted ads based on our web and app activity.
I discovered 312 websites were tracking my online activity and sharing it with Facebook
I was surprised to see that I’d given permission to 312 websites and apps to share my online activity with Facebook. Some of those sites I use frequently but there were a few I don’t remember visiting. The permissions dated back to July 2019.
If you’ve ever worried that Facebook might be listening to your conversations when you see ads for things you’ve talked about recently, chances are you’ll find evidence in the “Off Facebook” settings that reveal where it got that information.
You can clear your history which will remove those websites and apps from sharing your information and turn it off for the future. Keep in mind though you will probably have to log back into those apps and websites using Facebook or a new account. You’ll also continue seeing ads on Facebook but those ads will likely not be relevant to you and your interests.