Finally, Facebook is giving its users some control over their personal data.
The social network has launched a tool called 'Off-Facebook Activity' to let you control and manage all the data it gets from third-party apps and websites for ad-targeting.
It was originally available in select geographies, but can now be used by any Facebook user in any part of the world.
Data collected from third parties
Facebook, as many already know, uses the information of its users to target them with personalized ads.
This data is collected by not only tracking their activity on all Facebook apps/services but also gathering web activity data from third-party apps, websites they visit across the internet.
So, in essence, Facebook collects your information even when you are not actively using its products.
This is how product, you search, appears on Facebook
This third-party sharing is exactly what allows Facebook to learn about your activity on an online store, say something like browsing a particular shirt, and show ads related to that, which would be that shirt and other shirts from the same brand on that store.
Now, view and delete this information
Having said that, to let you end this information supply and reduce the level of personalization ads carry, Facebook has made Off-Facebook Activity available.
The tool has three key functions: showing the list of sites/apps and the interactions they have shared with Facebook (from the news you read to the product you opened at Myntra/Flipkart), disconnecting that data history, and managing future interactions.
How to use the tool?
To use the tool, all you have to do is head over to Facebook Settings > Your Account Information > Off Activity.
Here, you will get a dashboard with options to clear the history of shared interactions (all at once) or individually manage the list of sites/apps sharing your off-Facebook activity.
Notably, you also get the option to view or download your Facebook information.
Facebook is also bringing third-party login notifications
Beyond the Off-Facebook activity tool, Facebook has also launched login notifications for third-party apps and services.
The feature will issue an alert if your Facebook account is used to log into an app or service without your knowledge.
The notification will come via mail and Facebook app with an option to block that access and secure the account instantly.