Tuesday 22 July, 2014
Big news across the web – Facebook is planning to sell your data to advertisers so that it can do you the huge favor of making ads more relevant to you. Did you catch the sarcasm there? What I meant to say is, they’re selling your data to advertisers in order to monetize. There, I said it.
People are going nuts about this, especially on Facebook. They’re calling it an outrageous violation of your basic right to privacy. The truth is that lots of companies already do this. Facebook already shows you targeted ads based on what you do on Facebook.
What’s especially creepy about this, however, is that it will track what you do off Facebook. In other words, if you’re researching TVs to buy using Safari, Facebook will send you ads related to TVs. This is what has people up in arms.
But the good news is that there are several ways you can opt out. They’re putting a link on each ad that says ‘Why am I seeing this?’ It’s nice to know that they’re at least being transparent about it.
Here is how you can opt out of Facebook’s new interest-based ad system.
Digital Advertising Alliance
Go to the Digital Advertising Alliance website. You’ll have three tabs to choose from – All Participating Companies, Companies Customizing Ads for Your Browser, and Existing Opt Outs. If you click on All Participating Tabs, you’ll see a list of websites that may be monitoring your activity. Scroll down and you’ll see Facebook. Uncheck it.
iOS and Android Devices
If you use the Facebook app on a device with iOS, you can disable ads through your device. Open Settings and go to General and Restrictions. You’ll have to enter your Restrictions Passcode. Once you’ve done that, click Advertising. You’ll see a switch called Limit Ad Tracking. Switch it off and you’re done.
If you use an Android device, open your Google Settings app. Click Accounts and then Ads. Select the option where it says ‘Op out of interest-based ads.’ It may be selected alright.
If you’re using a program that disables cookies like AdBlock Plus or if you’ve disabled cookies manually, you’ll have to reset the above each time you clear the cookies.
How to Totally Escape Online Attacks on Your Privacy
If you want to completely protect your privacy online, there’s only one sure-fire way to do it. Turn off your computer and all mobile devices right now. Grab a hammer or other blunt object and smash them to pieces. Get a cabin in the mountains or a cave in the desert and say goodbye to the internet forever. In other words, sorry, but there’s no escape.
The program is set to roll out August 6. It will only be for U.S. users.