Is Your Phone Spying on you for Facebook?
Did you know that many websites and apps track what you’re doing online and then give that information to Facebook? I found out that over 1200 different apps and websites had shared details about my purchases and habits. Even government websites like the VA and Ohio.gov gave information about my browsing to Facebook. My pedometer app is even sharing how many steps I take in a day!
Come with me and I will take you step by step through the process.
Facebook says it’s to make it easier to show you posts that interest you, but what that really means is that they want to show you ads that mesh with your interest. Here’s how to find out what they know about you. On your phone, open the FB app, and tap the three-line menu icon at the top right. Then tap Settings & Privacy, and then Settings.
On a computer, click the arrow at the top left of your FB page and choose Settings from the drop-down menu.
On a phone, scroll down until you find Off-Facebook activity.
On a computer, click on Your Facebook information at the left and scroll down to Off-Facebook Activity. Then click View.
Ready to be shocked? When it opens you’ll see a selection of the apps and sites that have been feeding your information to Facebook.
Let’s check out a little bit further. Choose Manage your Off-Facebook Activity. Scroll down to find it on your phone. It will be to the right on your computer.
Here’s what I saw when I looked. Over 1200 apps and websites had shared my information with Facebook. New sites, my pedometer, the Veterans Administration website, educational websites, the Ohio Lottery and other Ohio government websites, companies I pay for services like What’s App, my glucose monitoring app, PBS, the AARP, stores I’ve purchased from online. It’s insane! This happens because these sites use Facebook’s business tools. They may not even know it’s happening because it’s a deal the company that hosts their app or website makes with Facebook. If an app use location software, Facebook may very well know everywhere you go even if you don’t have location turned on in your Facebook app. The number next to the app shows how many times they’ve shared your information with Facebook.
Just tap on the app or website to see more about what types of information they’ve shared. These are the details for the Veteran’s Administration.
This is also where you can turn off the sharing. By clicking on Turn off future activity. If you’d like to clear the history, just tap on Clear History at the top of the list. But you’ll need to turn off future activity to make sure they don’t collect any more.
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