Did you plan on sharing your browser history with advertisers? Because if you have been sharing your browsing history with Facebook – and basically everyone who stays logged in has been sharing this with Facebook – then that’s exactly what’s going to happen.
Facebook has never really been big on keeping your data private, but this time they may have gone too far. They plan to sell your browsing history to advertisers. Of course, Facebook has put a user-friendly spin on things, saying they are “giving people more control over the ads they see“. They even created a great video to make it look like an awesome new feature. But is it?
“We never share information that personally identifies you, like your name and contact info, unless you give us permission” — Jake Brill (Facebook Product Manager)
However, this is an opt-out feature, not an opt-in feature. And you need to opt-out on a completely different site, not on Facebook itself. Could they be more difficult?
Why Am I Seeing This Ad?
One cool feature that has come along with the changes is that you can click on the top-right of any advert and tell them that it’s not relevant to you, or ask why you are seeing the advert. You can also, from there, tell Facebook more about what sorts of adverts you’d prefer to see. As Facebook puts it, the number of adverts you see won’t change. They’ll just become more relevant.
“Let’s say that you’re thinking about buying a new TV, and you start researching TVs on the web and in mobile apps. We may show you ads for deals on a TV to help you get the best price or other brands to consider. And because we think you’re interested in electronics, we may show you ads for other electronics in the future, like speakers or a game console to go with your new TV.” — Facebook Newsroom
Opt-Out Of Sharing Data With Facebook Advertising
To avoid sharing your browsing data in your web browser, head to the Digital Advertising Alliance opt out. You’ll need to disable your ad-blocker on this site in order to use it. Head to “Companies Customizing Ads for Your Browser” and then choose Facebook from the list. Feel free to add any other companies while you’re here, then click “Submit” when you’re done.
However, none of this will stop Facebook collecting the information in the first place. They just won’t share it with advertisers. Learn more by reading about Facebook cookies in their help centre.
Facebook also say you can also opt out on your mobile devices by using tools that iOS and Android provide. For iOS, this means heading to General > Restrictions > Advertising and toggling the switch under Privacy for “Limit Ad Tracking”. For Android, go to Google Settings > Ads > Opt Out of Interest-Based Ads.
Is It All Too Much?
What’s keeping you using Facebook? Given that Facebook recently announced they would listen in using microphones to find out what you’re listening to or watching on TV, and that they recently had a debacle when the public found out they’d been running psych experiments on their users, do you think it’s all too much?