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How To Clear Your Off-Facebook Activity


March. 01, 2020

Facebook has a not-that-impressive track record when it comes to handling privacy and security. The Cambridge Analytica Scandal where the company was complicit in letting the data analysis firm steal data from 50 million of its users, and to make matters worse, this was only the latest in a long line of mishaps by the company.
In 2007, the company launched Beacon, a script that allowed third-party companies to post the actions of a user on the network. The script was shut down after two years following the settlement of a class action lawsuit. Instant personalization came into being in 2002 and what it did was share your information with affiliate sites like sharing your information with news sites or music websites based on your interests, this included your name, gender, age, pages you’ve liked etc. In 2010, it was revealed by the Wall Street Journal that a number of apps on Facebook shared personal information about the users with online advertising tracking companies. Made possible by a HTTP referrer, this could expose the identities of users and their friends. This was a huge threat to everyone’s Facebook privacy. It took 12 months to work around this issue. Facebook also doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to safeguarding information of the users from governments. There have been several instances where when law enforcement officials demand information from the company, they just let them have it allowing it to fall under the umbrella of the fight against terrorism which isn’t always the case. They play fast and loose with publishing rights as well, Facebook’s terms and conditions lay claim to “Non-Exclusive, Transferable, Sub-Licensable, Royalty-Free” rights to anything you put on the network which means although the ownership of your content is not in question, you will have allowed Facebook to republish your content in any way it decides is appropriate.
Facebook and its hiccups with sharing of personal and private information has made them get in gear and make efforts to tackle the issues, they made it easier to manage privacy issues in March 2018, now they’ve taken it a step further and come up with a tool called the Off-Facebook Activity Tool which shows which websites and apps are sharing your data with Facebook. It also allows you, if you need to, to clear your history and sever these connections. This tool is an offspring of the initiative to make the your data more secure both on and off Facebook. Facebook began by redirecting all 2 billion of its users to its Privacy Checkup Tool. The Off-Facebook Activity Tool focuses on the data shared between Facebook and its other businesses which allows Facebook to show you the ads it thinks will be relevant for you. A number of apps you use and websites you visit collect a sizeable amount of information and data about you which helps Facebook make a profile of you and helps it to show you more relevant ads. The Off-Facebook Activity Tool allows you to get access to this data and manage how it’s collected. You can access the Off-Facebook Activity Tool by going to Settings>Your Facebook Information>Off-Facebook Activity. From here, you can access, download or manage your information, clear your information and also manage your future activity.
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