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The Off-Facebook Activity tool lets you take control of your shared data

Facebook is hoping to be more transparent about your data and activity by expanding a new privacy feature to the U.S. and the rest of the world. 

The new feature is called the Off-Facebook Activity tool, which was previously only available to people in Spain, Ireland, and South Korea. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the worldwide feature rollout on Tuesday, January 28, which is appropriately Data Privacy Day. 

The Off-Facebook Activity tool allows people to see and control the data that other apps and websites share with Facebook. 

“Other businesses send us information about your activity on their sites and we use that information to show you ads that are relevant to you. Now you can see a summary of that information and clear it from your account if you want to,” Zuckerberg wrote in the blog post. 

You’ll be able to see a summary of the information other apps and websites send Facebook about your data and download it straight to your phone. You can also disconnect the information from your account as well as disconnect future activity, including being able to choose all activity or just activity from specific apps or websites. 

How to access the Off-Facebook Activity tool 

  1. Go to Settings in your Facebook app. 
  2. Choose Off-Facebook Activity.
  3. From here, you can choose specific apps to see how many interactions you had with an app or a website. You can download activity details by clicking on the number of interactions and clicking Download Activity Details at the bottom of the popup. 
  4. To clear your history of all apps, click on the Clear History toward the top. 

“If you clear your off-Facebook activity, we’ll remove your identifying information from the data that apps and websites choose to send us. We won’t know which websites you visited or what you did there, and we won’t use any of the data you disconnect to target ads to you on Facebook, Instagram or Messenger,” Facebook said in its original blog post about the feature last August.

Even though Facebook has had some privacy mishaps in the past, the new feature is a step in the right direction toward giving people more control over their privacy and their data. 

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