It’s no secret that Facebook likes tracking its users even when they aren’t on Facebook with a tool they call Pixel. In a strange turn of events, it now seems that Facebook is finally allowing lets users control what advertisements they want and don’t want to see in their feed.
The way the social network is allowing this is via Off-Facebook Activity. How the feature works is by showing users a summary of activities generated from apps and websites. Sending information directly to their Facebook account.
With Off-Facebook Activity, users can choose to either continue seeing said information, disconnect the information from their account, or simply choose to disconnect the Off-Facebook Activity feature from their account altogether. Of course, if you choose the latter, Facebook will have no idea about their earlier activity on other websites.
“If you clear your off-Facebook activity, we’ll remove your identifying information from the data that apps and websites choose to send us. We won’t know which websites you visited or what you did there, and we won’t use any of the data you disconnect to target ads to you on Facebook, Instagram or Messenger,” the post says.
As a company that provides free service and solely depends on advertising for income, Facebook believes that this privacy tool will have some impact on their business. In Q2 ended on 30 June, Facebook made nearly US$17 billion (~RM71 billion) from advertisements.
But user privacy is also a double-edged sword that has hit back against the social media giant too; last month, the company was fined US$5 billion (~RM20.89 billion) in a privacy settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission due to privacy violations.
For the moment, Facebook will be rolling out its Off-Facebook Activity tool in Ireland, Spain and South Korea. Followed by a slow rollout to other countries over the following months.