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How to change Facebook data sharing settings

Facebook collects a wide range of data about users, both inside and outside the platform. Here’s how to regain your privacy:

The technology outage on Facebook’s priorities and whistleblower claims have renewed discussions about company ethics, including the handling of user data.

Whether or not the account owner is aware of it, Facebook’s default privacy settings allow the company to collect a large amount of personal data (all videos viewed, search history, location when logged in to mobile device, face). You can record the appearance etc.). more.

Your data is invaluable

Personal information is an important part of the business behind a large social network that currently hosts 2.9 billion monthly active users.

According to the company, it doesn’t sell personal data such as names and posts, but it collects user information, organizes it into unnamed profiles, and shares it with advertisers targeting a narrow customer base.

Advertising accounted for $ 28.5 billion of total revenue of $ 29 billion in the second quarter of 2021, according to the July 2021 revenue report.

Some of that data is voluntarily disclosed by the user, but the user may not be aware of exactly how it is used in the advertising process.

Related: Facebook’s massive outage shows how dependent the world is

How advertisers use your data

The default privacy settings for all Facebook accounts allow the company to share users’ employers, job titles, academic backgrounds, and relationship status with advertisers, but account owners can opt out.

Next, there is the “interest” that Facebook guesses about the user. These categories are based on activities such as ad clicks and page likes.

Account owners can remove certain interest categories from their profile, but they do not have the option to opt out of the process altogether.

With the exception of ads that are considered discriminatory, advertisers can customize their campaigns by location, demographics, interests, consumer behavior, and whether they follow the company on Facebook.

Facebook shares an example of how to use this type of information to target online ads in your privacy settings.

Advertisers with ads about sneakers can choose the “Running” interest category as the target audience for these ads, or the user with the “Personal Trainer” added as their profile title.

Related: “Gold stops at Mark”: Former Facebook manager criticizes Zuckerberg and demands surveillance

Facebook claims that targeting ads will benefit small businesses and will display content that is relevant to your interests.

“Personalized advertising helps people discover new products and brands, helping businesses of all sizes (not just the ones with the largest budgets) reach people who might be interested in what they offer. “I will do it,” the company said.

Jonathan S. Weissman, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Computing Security, Rochester Institute of Technology does not agree.

“Despite the fact that it’s creepy, the inherent advantage of seeing ads that you may be interested in is the value of your privacy and the risk of your personally identifiable information going out there. There is no, “he said.

“There’s little Facebook doesn’t know about you,” he added.

More than an endangered online shopping habit

Research has shown that it is possible to accurately estimate other more sensitive characteristics of a user based on Facebook activity.

According to a 2013 study published by researchers at the University of Cambridge, Facebook likes are sexual orientation, ethnicity, religious and political views, personality traits, intelligence, well-being, and addictive substances. We have found that we can predict personal attributes such as usage, parental separation, age, and gender. ..

The second survey in 2015 strengthened the ability to “like” sensitive personal information. Researchers have found that computers that analyze likes are better at predicting a person’s personality than their Facebook friends.

The authors of the 2013 survey suggest that access to personal information may otherwise be harmful or dangerous.

Related: Hacking scams hidden in obvious sight on Facebook

“Using software to infer attributes such as intelligence, sexual orientation, and political views that individuals may not intend to share, even with commercial companies, government agencies, or even Facebook friends. You can, “they write.

Just over a year after the 2013 survey was published, the New York Times said a professor from the same lab who was familiar with the process of creating a psychological profile from likes was personalized by 87 million Facebook users. Data collection has started. A seemingly named company — “Cambridge Analytica”.

Facebook banned its researcher Aleksandr Kogan and its affiliates from the platform in 2018.

According to the company, personal identity information is not used in advertising.

“Advertisers can use the targeting options they offer when they create ads, including engagement-based interests on Facebook, such as page likes and ad clicks, but these interests. Is not based on an individual’s attributes or traits, such as religious affiliation, or is sexually oriented. “

Facebook tracks web traffic for users outside the site

Social networks don’t just monetize data when users log in to the platform. The company also tracks Internet users on millions of other websites through an advertiser tool called Facebook Pixel.

The exact number of websites currently using Facebook Pixel isn’t clear, but Weissman says it’s “amazing.”

Facebook did not answer questions about the current number of websites using the software.

For users who are concerned about the company tracking personal information, there are ways to regain some privacy.

Here’s how to delete stored off-platform data and turn off future off-platform tracking:

To remove an existing off-platform activity, follow the prompts below.

  • Expand Account Settings using the arrows in the upper right corner
  • Settings and privacy
  • Privacy shortcut
  • View or clear non-Facebook activities
  • Clear history
  • Clear history
  • Expand the hamburger menu at the bottom right
  • Settings and privacy
  • Configuration
  • Non-Facebook activities
  • Clear history
  • Clear history

To prevent Facebook from collecting future off-platform activity, follow these prompts:

  • Settings and privacy
  • Configuration
  • advertisement
  • Advertising settings
  • Ads displayed from Facebook
  • Toggle the Allow button off
  • Expand the hamburger menu at the bottom right
  • Settings and privacy
  • Configuration
  • Non-Facebook activities
  • More options
  • Manage future activities
  • Manage future activities
  • Toggle the “Future of-Facebook Activity” button off



How to change Facebook data sharing settings

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