Facebook collects an insane amount of your personal data and actively monitors your off-Facebook activity. In this post, we show you why and how Facebook stalks you, and more importantly, how you can take back control of your privacy and personal data!
Here’s a scary thought.
Facebook stalks you. But that’s not all.
In fact, Facebook has more information about you than you could ever imagine!
But why would Big Tech be interested in mining your personal data? The answer is less complicated than you think.
It’s a question of survival.
That’s right. Facebook needs your personal data to survive, thrive and flourish.
Their business model is built around using your personal data for profit. And they’ve become wildly successful at mining personal data. That’s something Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t want you to know.
Let’s break that down.
Why Facebook is stalking you
Every year, Facebook makes billions of dollars from adverts, because Facebook ads are super effective.
In answer to the question, “Are Facebook ads worth it?”, the Social Shepherd says, “Advertising on Facebook remains as strong as ever… So if you want to use Facebook to reach a wider audience, generate new leads and convert more customers – Facebook ads are 100% worth it.”
ActiveCampaign also has some very interesting things to say about Facebook ads.
It says, “Facebook ads let you shift from broadcasting to narrowcasting. Facebook’s targeting capabilities are intense—over 80 percent of US consumers use Facebook, and the average user spends 40 minutes on the platform every day. That gives Facebook a massive amount of information—which you can use to target your Facebook ads at potential customers.”
The main reason why Facebook ads are so effective is because they are personalised to suit you. Facebook ads are super targeted.
And that’s precisely why Facebook will continue to stalk you!
Facebook stalking – How does Facebook mine your personal data?
Facebook mines your personal data from a lot of sources. Here, we take a look at their 2 main sources.
#1. The data you provide
When you sign up to Facebook, you provide an insane amount of personal data.
The information you provide includes the following:
- Language: The languages you speak.
- Age: Your date of birth and your age.
- Location: You’re asked to provide your location including your country, city, state, county, zip code or postcode.
- Occupation: Facebook is interested in what you do for a living.
- Income: You’re asked to provide information about your income bracket. Adverts can be targeted to people in your income group.
- Interests: The interests you list, the pages you like, topics related to interests, even pages that your Facebook friends like.
- Retargeting: Using a tracking pixel to target people you have taken activity on your website
- Device: The device you access Facebook from such as mobile devices, tablets, and desktop computers.
- Custom Audiences: The email addresses that you use to set up your facebook account can be used for providing targeted ads. So if your email address has been used to sign up to say a radio station’s email list, you can be served ads from that radio station.
Facebook sees this information as gold dust. Your personal data is that valuable!
#2. Off-Facebook activity
This is perhaps the scariest bit.
The fact that Facebook actually monitors and records your off-Facebook activity is just frightening.
But first, what’s off-Facebook activity?
Off-facebook activity, according to Facebook “is a summary of activity that businesses and organisations share with us about your interactions, such as visiting their apps or websites. They use our business tools, such as Facebook Login or Facebook pixel, to share this information with us.”
It’s basically everything you do online that’s not connected to Facebook.
Examples of off-facebook interactions that Facebook receives about you include the following:
- When you open any apps any of your devices.
- Every time you in to any app with Facebook.
- Information about content you’ve viewed on any website.
- Whenever you’ve searched for an item online.
- Every time you’ve added an item to a shopping basket on any website.
- Every time you make a purchase online.
- Everytime you make a donation to any cause online.
Terrifying, isn’t it?
What does Facebook do with your personal data?
But quick question…
So what does Facebook do with all these information about you?
To me, it’s really all about money, control, influence and more money!
But what does Facebook say?
Facebook says it uses off-Facebook activity and your activity on Facebook to:
- Show you more relevant ads.
- Suggest groups, events or Marketplace items that you might be interested in.
- Help you discover new businesses and brands.
- Help businesses and organisations understand how their website, app or ads are performing and whether they’re reaching the right people.
- Identify suspicious activity to help keep Facebook safe.
Does Facebook expect us to accept their word for it?
I’m sure you’re smarter than that!
Stalking Facebook. Here’s how you can take back control
According to the New York Post, “it’s nearly impossible to figure out how to turn off any of its data-collection features — and actually impossible to turn off some. Even if you tell it to stop using your data to select which ads you see, Facebook still stalks you on the Web to build its profile of your preferences — keeping track in case you change your mind?”
Here’s what you can do to limit Facebook’s reach in your life.
How to review your Off-Facebook activity
Here’s the good news.
You can identify and review your off-Facebook activity in 3 easy steps:
Start by logging into your Facebook account.
#1. To get going simply click or tap on in the top right of Facebook.
#2. Next, scroll down and tap or click on Settings.
#3. Once in settings, scroll down to Permissions and click or tap on Off-Facebook activity to review, as you can see in the image below.
From here, you can also click or tap on Manage your Off-Facebook activity for more information.
You’ll be asked to re-enter your password.
Once you’ve re-entered your password, you will shown the number of apps and websites that have shared your activity outside of Facebook with Facebook.
Prepare to be alarmed.
You may even be embarrassed as you look through a summary including dates you accessed these websites and apps.
As you can see below, I discovered Facebook had monitored my online activity on 429 apps and websites.
Was I shocked to discover that Facebook had information on me from about 429 websites and apps?
Let’s spell that out loud: Four hundred and twenty nine!
Let me ask you…
When you decide to review your off-Facebook activity, what will you discover?
You can click on Clear History to delete this information from Facebook.
How to manage future Off-Facebook activity
If you’re like me, you want to stop Facebook from stalking you.
To do this, simply click or tap on Manage Future Activity, as you can see in the image below.
You will be taken to the dialog box similar to the one shown below. Tap or click on Manage future activity.
You will now be shown another dialog box similar to the one shown below. As you can see, Facebook will try to dissuade you from ending their control over your life.
But please don’t leave it to them.
Remember this is your moment to take back control of your privacy and personal data from Big Tech.
This is your moment!
Simply click or tap on Turn Off to break their power and control over your personal data.
Next, you will be shown another dialog box identical to the one below. Click or tap the blue dot beside Future off-Facebook activity.
Now you can simply click or tap Activity you’ve turned off to view the damage you’ve inflicted on Facebook.
Finally, as you can see in the dialog box below, the confirmation that you’ve turned off all future off-Facebook activity!
You did it!!
We can all stop Facebook from stalking us -Your turn
Are you on Facebook?
Of course you are, who isn’t?
Have you looked at your Facebook profile lately? What do you think?
But first, does FB notify stalking?
The answer is “No”!
So are you going to review your off-Facebook activity and take back control of your privacy and personal data?
Or perhaps, you’ve reviewed your off-Facebook activity. What did you find?
Why not join our conversation?