Stop Facebook From Tracking Your Browser Data

Facebook recently announced it’s going to use your app and Web-browsing data to deliver targeted ads specific to your interests.

For instance, if you searched online for red Chuck Taylors, you’d likely see a barrage of advertisements for the iconic Converse shoes the next time you logged on to Facebook.

Until now, Facebook monitored your activities within the boundaries of its social network, Reuters said. It made note of your comments and pages you “liked” and created a sort of internal profile of all of its users. Now Facebook is expanding its Big Brother observing to include your Web browsing history.

“The company will now flesh out those [internal] profiles with information based on some of the external websites and mobile apps its members use,” Reuters said.

Who needs privacy, right?

Fortunately, it appears you can (kind of) opt out and stop Facebook from stalking your app and Web browsing data. “If you don’t want us to use the websites and apps you use to show you more relevant ads, we won’t,” Facebook stated. Fair enough.

Click here to access the Digital Advertising Alliance opt-out and follow the directions. It’s pretty simple, and it takes just a few moments. I did it, and it turns out there were 94 companies customizing ads for my Internet browser on my laptop.

You can simply select Facebook individually, or you can do what I did and opt out of all participating companies by selecting that option at the bottom of the screen. It creeps me out that so many companies are keeping tabs of my browsing history. So I hit the “choose all companies” option and I was done.

Here’s the catch: This is not a complete or permanent opt-out solution. You need to set your opt-out preferences separately for each browser and device you use. So, for me, I had to opt out on two computers, my Kindle Fire and my smartphone. Also, when you delete your browser cookies, that also removes your opt-out preferences, so you’ll likely need to go back and opt out periodically.

According to Business Insider, there are special instructions you need to follow to opt out on your mobile phone:

Mobile users will need to additionally opt out of advertising through special control settings embedded in iOS and Android. On iOS, visit the “Settings” app and open up the “Privacy” tab, click on “Advertising” and enable “Limit Ad Tracking.” On Android, Facebook may add this setting as a user preference within the “Application Manager” found in “Settings,” but you can also set up and manage a Virtual Private Network (VPN) on the device that should automatically disallow any browser tracking.

Oh, Facebook. Will you ever learn? People don’t like feeling as if they’re being spied on.

Just last week we told you about Facebook’s attempted apology for conducting an emotional contagion study on 700,000 unsuspecting Facebook users.

Have you opted out of Facebook’s new data-gathering plan? Does it bother you that Facebook is tracking your Web browsing history? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

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Comments & discussion

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  • CharityLove

    This is a complete waste of time. Only a temporary opt-out.

  • di beauchamp

    Actually they have done this for a lot longer than which they seem to be saying they have done it, it has been well over a year that I started noticing that things I looked at when I wasn’t logged into face book were appearing in ads when I was logged into FB an I had mentioned this to several people that I know that go on face book but they really seems oblivious to what was going on, they I guess didn’t seem to care but I did I even wrote to them once letting them know my feelings on the issue about not liking it one little bit, and I know they didn’t go by anything that I liked or what ever when I was on FB because my warning to people has been ever since I started going on there was to never Click Ad’s for one thing So I surely wouldn’t like any of them as I have refused to click on them,” I do not care what it is for” Even when recommended by friends, as some friends are gullible to everything. I seen them as what I deemed them wanting to know all my business which I figure is none of their business.
    For one thing I’m sure it does help a bit to click on none of their crappy ads, but on the other hand if you do not show them what you like they will show you the crappiest smut they can find, however I did write them about all the provocative smutty ads I was seeing at one time an they finally did start taking them off and replacing them with others and then ad of what I was viewing when I wasn’t on FB.

  • dumbfounded57

    This is why I deleted my FB & Instagram accounts a year ago.