tech

Who's tracking you? Facebook users to get more control over data

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Facebook Inc says it is tweaking its policies to allow users to see and control the data that the social network gathers from their browsing habits on other websites and apps.

The company defines the data, for example when a clothing website shares information with Facebook on browsing activity of a user, as "Off-Facebook Activity".

Facebook said in a blog post that the tool is being rolled out in Ireland, South Korea and Spain and would be available to users across the globe in the coming months, adding that it expects the move to have some impact on its business.

"We believe this Off-Facebook Activity information has been pretty valuable to Facebook, enabling it to offer advertisers the ability to reach consumers that have already shown some interest in their products or services," Atlantic Equities analyst James Cordwell said.

The latest action comes as the company faces severe criticism from lawmakers and regulators over its privacy practices. Last month, Facebook agreed to a record-setting $5 billion privacy settlement with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

The company earns money from advertisements and offers tools to advertisers to target potential customers. Any change in lowering the effectiveness of ad targeting hurts the company's revenue.

In the quarter ended June 30, Facebook made nearly $17 billion from ad sales.

The social network said if a user clears their Off-Facebook Activity, it would remove the user's information from the data that apps and websites choose to send.

"The question remains as to how many consumers will actually bother to use this functionality, especially given it will require navigating into the app's Settings area," Cordwell said.

"I think the impact from this new functionality will also be manageable for the business."

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

4 Comments
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Who believes this? FB has lied about literally everything they have claimed about privacy. Literally every claim. The most recent: “We don’t listen to your private conversations.” Cue contractors complaining about being made to transcribe personal conversation. “Well we stopped that program last night after the news broke so no worries you can trust us.”

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They will no doubt pretend you are hiding the info but will use your actions to confirm its accuracy and increase their file on you. Remember, if something is free, YOU are the product.

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Well, quite simply if you want to use these services but not link to your own physical person, use a false identity. It is possible still.

Clear your Browser Caches regularly, especially before visiting the Facebook sites, avoid using the "Facebook login process" to other sites... and you're almost done.

BTW Other sites - including Government ones, that use the Facebook login process are hypocritical in condemnation of Facebook... they themselves should stop using this functionality if they don't like the data collection aspect.

You could of course, use TOR, but a lot of modern day "glossy" fluff will be lost on you, but it only masks your location - don't use your own real-id when logging into sites.... doh!

Also, I'd advise setting up at least 2 email accounts - the primary one, for general stuff... and the secondary one, for communication between those you trust. The reason for doing so like this, is that your default primary email address is the one most likely to be obtained by any malicious code on a website, or program that you download, or even when viewing web content emails in your browser. Don't post any publicly view-able comments anywhere under the 2nd account's Id. This isn't a surefire way of avoiding Spammers, as you are not in control of the actions of your Contacts who they themselves may have lax internet behaviors and reveal your email address to SPAMMER's ... it happens.

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Anyway, why do you need a Facebook account ?

The American Facebook concept started from a School year Photo-book - which is common too in Japan.

And would you trust a Facebook version of Alexia (IoT device) in your home ?

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