People first, indeed. Image: Associated Press
Way back in June, Facebook announced that it would soon allow third-party advertisers to track your activity on the Web and mobile apps. On Wednesday, its corporate dreams came true: The day has arrived.
Per a Facebook blog post announcing the scheme:
“Imagine seeing an ad for a product on your mobile phone while in line at the bank. Do you immediately make a purchase on your phone? Probably not. But perhaps you go back to your office later that day and buy on your desktop computer. Such cross-device conversions are becoming increasingly common as people move between their phones, tablets and desktop computers to interact with businesses.”
In other words, Facebook is now able to spoon-feed your mobile and Web browser history to its advertisers. Though you can’t stop the company from collecting that information in the first place, you do have the ability to not participate in this exchange.
Facebook lets you opt out of having your Web and app history shared with marketers and advertising firms, if you want to. The sharing system is turned on by default, but you can turn it off in a few easy steps.
1. First, you’ll have to head over to a third-party site called the Digital Advertising Alliance. At this point, you should disable any ad-blocker software that shields your browser from cookies.
2. When you’ve made it to the home page, scroll down until you see a box with three tabs. Select the one titled All Participating Companies.
3. Scroll down that list until you find Facebook Inc. and then check the box on the right (or all of them; go wild!). Click Submit your choices.
4. It’ll need to think for a second, and then you’ll see a message on the screen pop-up that confirms that you’ve opted out. Just to be sure, check the third column that says Existing Opt Outs. Facebook Inc. should appear there.
5. We’re not done yet! If you use the Facebook app, you’ll probably want to do this for your mobile device as well.
Go to your Settings app and select General. Scroll down to Restrictions. You may have to toggle restrictions on and set a passcode for them, before accessing each specific item.
Once you’ve done that, scroll down to the section titled Privacy, and select Advertising. Then toggle the thing that says Limit Ad Tracking.
Go to Google Settings. Then scroll down to Ads. Select Opt Out of Interest-Based Ads. From there, you can go ahead and browse without being stalked by money-grubbing advertisers.
And that’s it. Pat yourself on the back. You just stuck it to the Zuck.