Facebook, a known-to-all social media platform, is a large platform where people from all around the globe are connected. Facebook keeps on making new advancements from day to day time in order to survive in this competitive environment where many other social media platforms are growing widely. It has built an extensive network in order to enhance its tracking technology apart from the growing social media network.

On data privacy day, mark Zuckerberg said that the exclusive OFF FACEBOOK ACTIVITY tool would be launched globally that will let you manage the way you are tracked by Facebook. ”Off-Facebook Activity marks a new level of transparency and control,” Zuckerberg wrote today. “We’ve been working on this for a while because we had to rebuild some of our systems to make this possible.”

What is it?

It was an attempt by the company to give more transparency and control to people. This is popularly called as OFF-FACEBOOK ACTIVITY. The authority says that this feature was made for its user’s benefits. Facebook would keep a close watch on your searching histories, be it a holiday destination or any commodity when once Facebook gets a view of your searching details, it would show you advertisements of your benefits according to your search history. You shall get to watch a more personalised set of ads. Also, in the end, you would get a summary of the apps and websites that provides Facebook all the information about your activity.

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Is the browsing history being threatened?

How would a person feel if all his search histories are out, all the things that he surfs about are open up to someone? A sense of insecurity would prevail in your mind. That’s something called intruding into a person’s privacy, which is highly unethical. Such kind of drawback was observed after the introduction of this feature of privacy tools on Facebook. This feature gave the company access to the users’ browsing history, even when they aren’t on any social network. 

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Facebook collects its information in two primary ways. Whatever the information you put on its apps and websites, it catches hold of it, and the second method to get the information is by tracking what all sites you searched for while not using Facebook. It monitors you across the network and follows your digital steps to target you with respective advertisements. But after the release of this new privacy tool if one doesn’t like to tracked, they can get unsubscribed from this feature by clearing off the off-Facebook activity, but all that will be done is your name won’t come with the search history, it would turn anonymous but remain with Facebook.

But there are many people like privacy advocates, lawmakers, etc. who question why and on what basis they must trust Facebook. Facebook is criticised for its tracking methods. For eg: a tool called a Facebook pixel, as the name suggests, its size is as small as of the order of pixels, hence next to impossible to be visible on the screen. This provides your information regarding the websites you visit and the activity you perform. Even when you log off from Facebook, it still keeps you stalking in the hope of showing you the best-related advertisements according to your search history on a webpage.

Can you choose to get rid of this feature?

Facebook said it hoped to delete the entire search directory of its users if they wanted, but this couldn’t be possible. Even there was news that there were some people who wished to have a continuous look at the browsing history always. Although, many people don’t want their search history to be looked upon and can reduce this tracking to some extent but can’t be stopped entirely.

But Facebook added a caveat to its new tool, noting that while it prevents tracking your data online, it doesn’t stop advertisers and businesses from targeting ads to you based on other factors, including your contact information. To do that, you’d have to go to Ad Controls, and turn off “Ads based on data from partners.”

How to find this New Privacy tool on Facebook?

In an initiative to mark Data Privacy Day, Facebook is showing users a prompt in the News Feed to review their privacy settings, directing them to a Privacy Checkup tool. The tool takes you through a tour of who can see your information, an option to turn on two-factor security, and which apps use your Facebook account to log in. Notably, it doesn’t point users to the new Off-Facebook activity introduced today. It’s also not the easiest tool to find as it’s buried in the side menus. Here’s a direct link, or you can find it in Settings —> Your Facebook Information —> Off-Facebook Activity.