Facebook had after several testing released a privacy tool, called 'Off-Facebook Activity' to allow users to have more control over their data and also be able to choose which specific parts of their data to share with advertisers and which to remove.
While the social network giant, Facebook had earlier resorted to many privacy measures with the sole aim to give users more granular control and have better transparency about how they and other third-party apps use the data, this is perhaps the first time it is giving users total control in clearing data from third-party websites and apps.
Facebook has seemingly ran into some challenges with privacy, as it tries to organize browsing data by date, which instead the former privacy tool organizes by profile, making it a bit difficult to single out an individual user's browsing history data.
What does and does not qualify as Off-Facebook Activities?
As Facebook is privy to collect information of users in different ways, first it does so through the filling out of your information into its platform via website and apps, and secondly, it tracks your browsing history via the Login with Facebook, embedded Like button, Facebook comments, and other hidden script called Facebook Pixel embedded on most websites.
Now, through these several processes Facebook is able to know which websites a user visit, even when not on the platform itself. And perhaps you've experienced whenever you scroll through your Facebook feed, it displays advertisements from specific brands especially those websites you recently visit.
These are what is classified as Off-Facebook activities and serves to help them to target ads more effectively, albeit evading users privacy. But with the new 'Off-Facebook Activity' Tool, concerned users should now be able to clear their personal data on the platform.
Steps to clear your Data using the Off-Facebook Activity Tool
The new tool makes it possible for you to be able to view a summary of your data which other websites or apps sent to Facebook through its various tools, and also allow you to disconnect the data or even all future activity altogether from your Facebook account.
Simply navigate to your account's Settings and you'll see the Off-Facebook Activity tab, click on it. Then you will be able to see the websites and apps that have been tracking your activity for ad targeting by sending reports to Facebook.
Now, just tap on the "Clear History" button to clear every of your browsing history and disconnect your account from the selected apps and websites or even prevent all of the third-part sites from tracking you in the future.