In June, Facebook announced that it was going to start using all of that ever-so-illuminating app and website data it collects to serve us with more targeted ads. In other words, Facebook is getting ready to use your browsing history to benefit advertisers. Here’s how to stop them.
Of course, just because you’re getting some new (and highly necessary) controls over how Facebook shares your data doesn’t mean it’s going to stop collecting the data in the first place. So while we can at least somewhat limit how all of our salacious internet habits are being used, it doesn’t mean the cache of data itself is going away.
What’s more, the new feature is opt-out, so in order to keep your browsing history away from prying third-party eyes. You’ll need to actively head over to the Digital Advertising Alliance here and let them know you’re not willing to share.
Note: if you’re using AdBlocker Plus or anything else that disables cookies, you’re going to need to turn that off before you’ll be able to opt out.
Once there, you’ll see the above screen. Select the “Companies Customising Ads for Your Browser” tab, and scroll down until you see Facebook.
Click the little check box next to Facebook, and as long as you’re here, feel free to scroll through and check off any other sites you’d like to stop forking over your most private internet deeds. Once you’ve clicked to your heart’s content, hit “Submit”.
Now, considering how many of us also use the Facebook app, you’re probably going to want to do the same for your mobile device(s). For iOS users, open settings and go to General>Restrictions>Advertising (under the “Privacy” section). Flip the switch for Limit Ad Tracking, and you’re all set.
If you’re using Android, go to Google Settings>Ads>Opt Out of Interest-Based Ads, and that’s it — you’re free to browse in peace.
Facebook advertisers won’t be able to cater to you quite so creepily, and your privacy is left just that much more intact. Of course, that’s not to say that Facebook’s advertisers would do anything malicious with the data, but considering all that we do out on the internet’s wild frontiers, better safe than sorry.