Monday, 11 November, 2019

Facebook to stop stalking you off-site - but only if asked

Facebook will now stop following you around the web (sort of) Facebook Now Lets You Control Data That It Gets From Third-Party Apps and Sites
Patty Aguilar | 22 August, 2019, 18:46

But here's the kicker: Facebook won't actually purge the data it's been sent from websites and app. Plus, Facebook won't use such information to show you posts that it thinks you might like based on your off-sight activity.

Users also can't clear browsing data on a case by case basis - that is, you can't remove a specific web interaction from your account, or remove the browsing data from one particular app or website.

Arnold Roosendaal, director of the Privacy Company, calls it "a nice step" that Facebook is now transparent about what information the company collects from its users. The users can also choose to disconnect the data from their account.

Off-Facebook Activity has been more than a year in the making and fulfils a pledge made by Mark Zuckerberg at last year's F8 developer conference to give users greater control over how their data is used.

"When you visit Off-Facebook Activity, you'll see the websites and apps that you use regularly, but you might also see some services that you don't recognize".

"We expect this could have some impact on our business, but we believe giving people control over their data is more important", it said. 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". It must be kept in mind it will disconnect the data but not delete it.

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Tell Facebook to stop linking this data to their account moving forward. Instead, while Facebook will no longer know you specifically have looked at the shoes in the above example, it could still know that lots of Facebook users are looking at them on the retailer's website, then distribute ads accordingly.

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.

Facebook, still feeling the aftershock of 2018's Cambridge Analytica scandal, has embarked on three separate missions to show the world - and advertisers - it's a safe place for everyone. In any case, Facebook had little choice, because the company is under the magnifying glass with the authorities, both in Europe and in its home country.

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.

"This is how much of the internet works, but given that the average person with a smartphone has more than 80 apps and uses about 40 of them every month, it can be really hard for people to keep track of who has information about them and what it's used for".

Facebook will continue tracking all such activities but will disconnect it from the users' profile. The introduction of the new tool is Facebook's latest response to criticism over how it safeguards users' privacy.

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