As avid Facebook user’s and lovers, we are so excited to hear of their recent app developments to allow user’s more control over their data.

While most of us are aware that our data is often used and sold to businesses for their marketing activity, it’s so important that we all understand why and how this works, and that soon, we will have more control.

How your data is being shared
The average person has more than 80 apps on their mobile phone and uses approximately 40 apps every month. Today, there’s an app for almost every possible life situation – ordering coffee, tracking your daily steps, music sounds to help put your little ones to bed, accessing your health information from your doctor…. And if there’s not an app in the market place yet, it’s coming.

Whilst the majority of app’s are free to use, they require you to set up an account i.e. handing over your personal information. If you don’t want to set up an account (or you’re looking to quickly access the app) you are often given the option to ‘Login using your Facebook account’.

While all that seems somewhat innocent, what is actually happening is that when you provide your personal details to the app, you are actually giving permission for that app/business to then share and sell your data and online interactions with other businesses to be used for targeted marketing campaigns. With the multitude of apps we use on a frequent basis, it gets very hard to know who has your information and how it’s being used.

But now, Facebook are working on a tool to help allow you to control your data and ‘Off-Facebook’ Activity. This is a gradual process and currently only available in Ireland, South Korea and Spain, however Facebook will continue to roll this tool out everywhere else over the coming months.

So, how will it work?

This tool will allow you to see a summary of your information that other apps and websites have sold/sent to Facebook. Within this tool it will give you the option to disconnect this information from your Facebook account (and all future information). Once disconnected, Facebook will remove all this data and it will not be used for any Facebook, Instagram or Messenger targeted ads.

(Photo Credit: Facebook)

Facebook have recognized this will impact their business, however they believe giving people control over their data is extremely important. They have promised their users that while this tool is still new, it will mark a new level of transparency and control, and they will keep improving it to ensure it’s right!

Go Facebook!!!
(We’ll keep you posted as the tool rolls out world wide).