How to stop Facebook from tracking Google searches

Following an outage that logged several users out of their accounts, many moved over to Twitter where they discovered the platform was stalking their interactions outside of the app, thanks to its “Off-Facebook Activity” feature.

According to Facebook, the feature tracks “information that businesses and organizations share with us about your interactions with them, such as visiting their apps or websites.”

This information is used by Facebook to introduce its users to new products and services and display relevant ads in an effort to create a more personalized experience.

Users found the feature was monitoring their use across multiple apps and websites, including banking.

KPRC 2′s sister-station KSAT offered the following a breakdown on how to opt-out from the Facebook feature.

How to turn off “Off-Facebook Activity”

  • From your phone, go into ‘Settings and Privacy.” Then, select “Settings.”

  • From there, scroll down until you see “Your Facebook Information” and select “Off-Facebook Activity.”

  • If you want to turn off the setting, tap “More Options” and “Manage Future Activity.” You’ll then be prompted to select “Manage Future Activity” again, and from there, tap the switch to off, next to “Future Off-Facebook Activity.” Then you’re all set!

  • If you want to clear the history that’s already been stored, just return to the “Off-Facebook Activity” screen and select “Clear History.”

    Facebook was recently under fire for having access to a lot of user data than it really needs for basic functioning. There are a few ways to stop allowing Facebook to track your daily activities or data. You can turn off most of the permissions for Facebook that are not required for it to operate properly. For this, you just need to visit the settings section on your phone > Apps & notifications > Facebook > Permissions.

    Users are also advised to disable ‘Off-Facebook activity’ if they don’t want the social media giant to track the apps or websites they are using. Though, Facebook will still be able to get some of your data as third-party apps or sites to share your data with Facebook as they use the company’s tools to track your usage. Facebook claims it will never ask third-parties to share the health or financial data of users.

    The company itself says, “We receive activity from businesses and organisations who use our business tools so that can better understand how their website, app, or ads are performing. We use your activity to show you relevant ads and to suggest things you might be interested in.”

    While Facebook has clearly stated its intention, you don’t really know if your data is safe. Last year, Facebook admitted sharing users’ data with third-party developers.

    How to stop Facebook from tracking Google searches

    How to stop Facebook from tracking Google searches

    How to stop Facebook from tracking Google searches

    How to stop Facebook from tracking Google searches

    So, what data is Facebook collecting?

    If you visit a site or an app, Facebook knows when you opened it or logged in, searched for an item, what item you added to a wishlist or cart, made a purchase or donation. So, if you are using an online banking app or the MakeMyTrip app to book flight tickets, Facebook can see all your activity and target ads to you accordingly. On Facebook, it knows your purchase history, contacts, search history, ads or products you interact with, precise location, physical address and more.

    Android: How to stop Facebook from tracking your activities

    Step 1: Open the Facebook app on your smartphone and tap on the hamburger icon, which is located on the top right corner of the screen.

    How to stop Facebook from tracking Google searches

    Step 2: Scroll and tap on ‘Settings & Privacy.’

    How to stop Facebook from tracking Google searches

    Step 3: Visit settings > scroll > tap on off-Facebook Activity

    *Once you land on this page, it will show you which apps or sites you have visited and are sharing user data with Facebook. You can tap on each app to get additional information on what data is being shared, and what Facebook is doing with all of it. The app also lets you download all your activity details. For this, you need to tap on the three-dotted button located in the ‘Off-Facebook Activity option.’ Then, tap on ‘Download your Information’ of your off-Facebook activities.

    How to stop Facebook from tracking Google searches

    Step 4: Tap on Clear History. This will make sure that you delete all the data that Facebook has collected. Once you clear the history, you will see all the apps disappearing from the top of the screen.

    Step 5: Now to disable the option, you need to tap on ‘More options’ and then ‘Manage Future Activity.’

    How to stop Facebook from tracking Google searches

    Step 6: Tap again on Manage Future Activity and tap on Future Off-Facebook Activity.

    The iOS users can also follow the same steps. The only difference is you will find the hamburger menu at the bottom of the screen once you open the Facebook app on your device.

    What will happen if you disable ‘Off-Facebook’ activity’?

    Once you turn off the ‘Off-Facebook activity’ option, a Facebook user won’t get personalised advertisements based on their daily online activity. If you want your ads to be personalised, you basically have to pay for it with your data.

    How do I stop Facebook from seeing my Google searches?

    To turn this setting on or off:.
    Tap in the top right of Facebook..
    Scroll down and tap Settings..
    In the Audience and Visibility section, tap How People Find and Contact You..
    Tap Do you want search engines outside of Facebook to link to your profile?.
    Review your current settings and make your selection..

    Can Facebook see my Google history?

    Facebook not only has access to your activity when you use the social network but also when you visit certain third-party websites. To help you manage that information, the Off-Facebook Activity tool lets you review and delete the data collected about you when you're using other websites.