It's no secret that Facebook likes tracking its users even when they aren't on Facebook with a tool they call Pixel.
Firstly, users will be able to see a "summary" of info that Facebook has accumulated about them from other apps and websites. The tool, Off-Facebook Activity, allows users to view the hundreds of sites and apps that share data and customer information with Facebook. The company said Tuesday that it is adding a section where you can see the activity that Facebook tracks outside its service via its "like" buttons and other means. Users will have the option of disconnecting all of this information from their accounts or just the information from specific sites, and future online activity.
Facebook said that if the user clears off their off-Facebook activity, it would remove the user's identifying information from the data that apps and websites choose to send it. As you may already know, Facebook gets a lot of data from third-party websites and apps which it then uses for advertising. "This is another way to give people more transparency and control on Facebook..." To start, the Off-Facebook Activity feature, as it's called, will be available to users in Ireland, South Korea and Spain, and roll out worldwide over the "coming months".
Facebook isn't making any changes to what it does with your information by default, and that's a big deal.
In either instance, Facebook will continue to collect data about people's browsing activity, and store it on company servers.
Facebook formerly told reporters the feature was getting delayed than anticipated to advance as it functioned to retooling its systems and re contemplating how it processed user data. So Facebook can still tell advertisers how well their ads are performing.
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Facebook's "fundamental shift" toward privacy officially kicked off in April when chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg announced plans at F8 to create a "living room" atmosphere on the platform. If a customer browsed a pair of trousers on the site and then returned to Facebook, the social network's tracking technology may have shown that user an ad for the same pair of trousers inside the Facebook app.
In the last month, the USA government had slapped Facebook a fine of US$5 bn for data protection violations for the huge settlement, which calls for revamping its privacy controls and oversight at the social network.
The new tool is to give clients access to their so-called "off-Facebook activity" - fed back to Facebook with the aim of targeting advertisements - and give them the option of deleting it. However, the company said that is ready to handle the consequences of such a loss.
According to Facebook, users have more or less 80 apps installed on their phones.
This is a step in the right direction for Facebook, but we wouldn't be surprised to hear horror stories from the first users to look at the data collected by the social network.