In recent years, the name of Facebook has become synonymous with scandals and data leaks. The social media network has a poor privacy record, and although it has recently made minimal efforts to correct its mistakes, features like the recently launched off-Facebook activity only show how much data it actually collects. With the new tool, you can finally see which apps and websites interact with Facebook and what data they collect about you. Even if you are aware of privacy, you will most likely find that a large number of apps and websites collect data about you. For this reason, we have created instructions on how to use off-Facebook activities and how to protect your data more effectively on the web and on your Android phone.
Accessing and Using Off-Facebook Activities
Just like in many other Facebook privacy settings, the Off-Facebook Activity Tool is hidden under a number of menus. The easiest way to access it and change your settings is to just open this direct link on your PC. You get a summary of the activities companies share about you with Facebook. This can range from visiting a website, opening an app, and making purchases and donations. Usually, this data gets into the hands of the social network, as companies use one of the various tools from Facebook such as Facebook Login or Facebook SDK. Regardless of what some companies claim, all of the data you see about off-Facebook activity is personally identifiable to Facebook as it is directly linked to your profile.
<img class = "lazyload aligncenter wp-image-1085583" title = "Off Facebook activity Android app" src = "data: image / svg + xml,% 3Csvg% 20xmlns =% 22http: //www.w3.org/2000/svg%22%20viewBox=%220%200%201200%201240%22%3E%3C/svg%3E "data-src =" https: // cdn57 .androidauthority.net / wp-content / uploads / 2020/02 / Off-Facebook-activity-Android-app-653×675.png "alt =" Off-Facebook activity Android app  As soon as you If you have activity open, you must click the app / website icons to see a detailed summary of the activity shared with Facebook (you can also use this direct link) and you will be asked to re-enter your password, from where you can Click on any app to see how many interactions it had with Facebook. Don't be surprised if you find games, fitness apps, and basically every shopping app you've ever used on the list To see exactly what information these apps have shared with Facebook, you need to do the following:
View your shared off-Facebook activity information
- Click an app from the list.
- Open the Menu with the number of interactions drop-down and scroll down.
- Click . Download activity details to go to page to download your information page .
- Select All from My Data from the Date Range, HTML for Format, and Low Media Quality (to make your file download faster). Click Create File .
- This process takes some time. Wait for Facebook to notify you that the file is ready to download.
- Unzip the file and open the folder Ads and Companies . Click the file of your off-Facebook activity .
- Click on an app or website in the list to see when they interacted with Facebook and what data they shared.
Unfortunately, many apps flag a portion of the activity as custom. If you want to know what that means, all you can do is contact the company or app developers directly and request information.
Also note that the list generated by Off-Facebook activity does not contain all of your data. Newer interactions, such as those that have taken place in the past few days, will take some time. Activities older than 180 days are also not visible. Facebook also found the following:
We're getting more details and activity than what is listed here. For technical reasons and for reasons of accuracy, not all activities that we have received are shown in this list. Activities not shown include information that we have received if you are not logged in to Facebook or if we cannot confirm that you have previously used Facebook on this device. It also includes details such as the item you added to your cart.
How to protect your data on Facebook
So what can you do to protect yourself? One of the first steps you can take is to disable future activities. You can do this by following this link. Unfortunately, the only thing that does this is to separate future activities from your profile. It doesn't make the information Facebook has about you personally identifiable, but it's not a permanent solution. The company will continue to collect your data regardless.
How about deleting your profile and all Facebook apps from your phone? This is a good move, but not a very effective one, as Facebook also gathers information from non-users. However, if you live in the European Union, you have the right to request that the social network data delete all information it has about you if you are under the GDPR, especially if you no longer use its services.
Facebook also collects data for non-users.
If you still need to use Facebook to stay in touch with family and friends, the best way to use it on Android is through a privacy-aware browser like the DuckDuckGo privacy browser or Firefox Focus. You have even more options on the PC. One of the best is using Firefox with its Facebook container add-on. This prevents Facebook from collecting activity from other websites you visit. You can also install other privacy plug-ins like HTTPS Everywhere and Ublock Origin (for advertising cookies) and even use Firefox's built-in option to block third-party cookies.
Another simple but effective step in protecting your privacy is not to use the apps and websites listed in your off-Facebook activity. Although activity is usually collected for advertising purposes, given Facebook's track record of user data, this is not to be taken lightly.
When we wrote this article, for example, we found that the period tracking app Clue interacted with Facebook. No medical or other sensitive data was shared with the social network. Activities such as opening the app and other custom activities (signing in and out) were shared with Facebook.
Now you know how to use off-Facebook activities. You might want to read our main guide to other Facebook privacy settings – you need to change here today.