Facebook's new tool gives users control over third-party data gathering

Facebook will allow you to disconnect future off-Facebook activity from your account for all apps.


Privacy and Facebook don't go hand-in-hand but the Menlo Park-based social media giant is trying very hard to mend its tarnished reputation amongst its userbase. To that end today Facebook has announced a new tool called "off-platform activity" which will enable users to monitor all the data that third-party apps send about you to Facebook.

Facebooks new tool gives users control over third-party data gathering

Attendees walk past a Facebook logo during Facebook's F8 developers conference. Image: Reuters.

With this new update, Facebook will allow you to disconnect future off-Facebook activity from your account for all apps or for specific apps. Much of your ad-targeting comes from data send by these third-party apps which ask for Facebook login as an authentication method.

Off Facebook activity.

Off Facebook activity.

"Off-Facebook Activity lets you see a summary of the apps and websites that send us information about your activity, and clear this information from your account if you want to."

On its newsroom, Facebook mentioned that it expects the feature "could have some impact on our business" but it wants people to have control over their data.

The social network said that when an activity has been cleared, Facebook won't know which websites a user has visited. In addition to that, it also won't use any of the disconnected data to target adverts at them on Facebook, Instagram or Messenger. The feature is arriving first in Ireland, South Korea and Spain and it'll is said to be rolled out globally "in the coming months".