Last year, Facebook introduced new a data tracking method that targets ads at users based on their use of other websites and apps with Facebook’s social plug-in. At the time, the site provided several third-party ways for users to opt out of the feature, including the Digital Advertising Alliance Ad Choices program. Finally this week, Facebook rolled out a new way for users to opt out of the tracking right on the site itself—though one privacy expert says that’s still not enough.
“This new setting is a very modest step in the right direction. But the net result for privacy is limited,” said Brendan Van Alsenoy, the author of a European privacy report about Facebook. “Regardless of the setting, Facebook will still collect the same information about your visits to external sites containing Facebook social plug-ins. Facebook only promises to no longer use this information for the purposes of interest-based advertising.”
Though there may be some shortcomings with the new feature, it’s still a good idea for users to control how the site tracks them. To change your ad tracking preferences, go to your profile’s settings and click on the “Ad” tab on the left. From there, click on “Ads based on my preferences,” and you will see a list of your hobbies, interests, likes and more that you can edit.
Hard core privacy enthusiasts often use VPNs and dedicated browsers to further protect their digital data.