Off-Facebook Activity to help users get control over data

Off-Facebook Activity

With this tool, users will get the option to disconnect the Off-Facebook Activity information from their account, making ads less personal.

Facebook has launched a new tool as a means to help users get better control over the data that is shared by apps and websites to the platform in regards to their activities. “Off-Facebook Activity is a summary of activity that businesses and organizations share with us about your interactions, such as visiting their apps or websites,” the platform states.

When a user visits and external app or website, the business shares basic information about it with Facebook, which is then used to show users personalised advertisements. Giving users access to this information and the option to clear it will disrupt the process of personalised ads being displayed. It wouldn’t change the number of ads being displayed though.

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When the information is disconnected, it will be no longer be connected to the user’s account. However, it can still be used without being linked to an individual user to allow Facebook to let businesses know their website, app or ad is performing.

While scrolling through the list of apps in the activity log, users may spot names they don’t recognise. To ease the confusion, Facebook explains, “We sometimes receive information from businesses that use third-party data service providers or marketing agencies to help with content and ads.”

It is important to understand that much of what we do online generates data, may it be looking for holiday destinations or buying a backpack. This data helps businesses show users ads that are useful, such as deals on backpacks. The platform says, “These ads are what make most of the Internet available free of charge, including Facebook.”