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Now Facebook Tracks Your Activity Even On Other Websites By Default

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Facebook Privacy policy has seen many debates till date, and we may be on to yet another one that might attract severe backlash from users.

First, lets understand one thing – Majority of 1.3 billion+ Facebook users do not care (or even know about it) about the privacy policy. While Facebook has tried to make it simpler for average user to understand, very few have read it or have taken requisite action on it!

Now, Facebook has updated certain sections of their policy, which will allow them to track activity of users everywhere on internet, whichever site they are visiting. According to Facebook, they have done it to improve the experience so that users don’t get shown adverts that they don’t want to see!

While Facebook had made announcement about this back in November 2014 in regards to this, now users who sign-up for Facebook have this option activated by default. During the announcement, Facebook had mentioned they will be letting users know about this change through email. However, none of users have got emails stating this change!

The new policy allows Facebook to gather data from across the internet, as well as the normal data it gathers on information you and your friends have added to the site. Interestingly, the gathered data can be used not only by Facebook, but their other sites like WhatsApp and Instagram as well.

In technical terms, Facebook will read your browser cookies to know your activities on internet and which site you have visited. Based on the information acquired from user’s browser, they will show you advertisements as per your interests. This commonly is also called interest based advertising.

Here is what Facebook says about interest based advertising:

Facebook Privacy Policy update

You can see it on Facebook here.

How to opt out of Interest Based Advertising?

If you do not want Facebook or other companies who offer interest based advertising, here is what you can do.

You can use  Digital Advertising Alliance in the USA, Digital Advertising Alliance of Canada in Canada or the European Digital Advertising Alliance in Europe.

For India, we do not have a specific website that can offer you opting-out, but you can use NAI website to see how many companies are tracking your activity for interest based advertising and opt out of all of them.

Here is what this NAI (National Advertising Initiative) Website will help you with:

For now, you may use this page to:

  • Find out which participating companies have currently enabled customized ads for your browser using cookies on your browser;
  • See all NAI members and learn more about their advertising and privacy practices;
  • Check whether you’ve already opted out from member companies that are using cookies for Interest-Based Advertising;
  • Opt out of cookie-enabled interest-based advertising by some or all members, using opt-out cookies to store your preferences in your browser; or
  • Use the “Choose All Companies” feature to opt out in one step from all currently participating NAI member companies that use cookies on a browser for Interest-Based Advertising.

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