is one of the world’s biggest advertising platforms, and that’s because it knows a lot about you, me, and everyone.
uses many tools to track people across the Internet, whether they have an account with the social networking site or not, and most of them rely on the online activity data other apps and websites share with .
Everything we do online generates an extensive amount of behavioral data, from buying clothes to looking for hotels, which apps and websites often share with advertising companies, allowing them to build more accurate profiles of your interests and needs.
However, after facing worldwide criticism over privacy and data breach controversies, last summer announced a privacy tool, called Off- Activity, which gives users more control of their data collected by .
Starting today on Data Privacy Day 2020, the Off- Activity feature is now available to every user around the world, which was initially made only available to users in Ireland, South Korea, and Spain for testing.
Initially introduced as “Clear History,” the tool offers users a clear summary of what information holds on you based on other apps you used or websites you’ve visited and also lets you delete it from your account if you want to.
“Other businesses send us information about your activity on their sites, and we use that information to show you ads that are relevant to you. Now you can see a summary of that information and clear it from your account if you want to.”
How to Use Off- Activity Tool?
However, it’s important to note that the feature doesn’t actually allow users to delete their browsing information from servers; instead, it simply lets users dissociate collected data from their account.
For example, I tried it and found that over 1000 apps and websites had shared my online activity with in the past 180 days, many of which are news, banking, and healthcare organizations, and even .
To access Off- Activity tool:
- Go to ‘Settings & Privacy’ in your app,
- Select ‘Off- Activity,’
- On the next screen, you are provided with a list of all the websites and apps that had shared your data with .
- You can choose specific apps to see how many interactions you had with them.
- You can download activity details by clicking on the number of interactions and clicking Download Activity Details at the bottom of the popup.
- If you’re very concerned about the data that holds on you, it’s worth clearing your history by clicking on the ‘Clear History.’
It should also be noted that after using the “clear history” option, you will be logged out of certain websites you have accessed using your account.
Besides this, clearing history doesn’t stop third-parties from future data-sharing, and there’s another option, called ‘Manage Future Activity,’ which also doesn’t restrict from receiving your activity data from the businesses in the future. It’s just, the new information won’t be associated with your account.
Still, it’s a remarkable step forward towards transparency and control, as rivals such as Google don’t offer anything comparable to the “Off- Activity” page.