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Facebook Gets Information About You From Other Websites: How to Stop It

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and founder of Facebook Inc., arrives for a House Financial Services Committee hearing in Washington, DC, October 23, 2019.

Andre Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Facebook not only uses information about your activity on Facebook and its related products like Instagram to target you with ads, but the company also relies on data from third-party websites to do this.

Now, Facebook has rolled out a tool that lets users see exactly which third-party apps and websites are sharing their data with Facebook. The tool also includes a toggle to disable this option.

To access the new feature:

  • Tap the down arrow in the top right corner of Facebook.com and click Settings. If you’re on mobile, tap the three-line icon in the bottom right corner of the Facebook app, scroll down and tap “Settings & Privacy” and tap “Settings.”
  • Click on the “Your Facebook information” section. On the desktop, it’s in the left column near the top.
  • Select the “Off-Facebook Activity” header in the middle of the page.
  • Next, click on “Manage your off-Facebook activity”. This will ask you to enter your Facebook password.

Facebook’s new off-Facebook activity tool lets users see which third-party apps and websites share their data with Facebook and opt out.

Salvador Rodriguez/CNBC

Once inside, this page will show you which apps and websites provide data to Facebook. You can tap on each app to get additional information on how it shares data with Facebook, what type of data it shares, and what Facebook does with that data. These pages will also allow you to download activity details of what is shared with Facebook.

If you want to be selective about which apps you block, just click on an app you want to disable, scroll down and select “Disable Future Activity”. Repeat this for each website you want to disable.

Salvador Rodriguez/CNBC

From the “Manage Your Off-Facebook Activity” page, you can delete third-party websites that have been shared with Facebook by simply tapping the big “Clear History” button at the top of the screen.

But that won’t do much to stop apps from sharing information with Facebook in the future.

To prevent future data sharing, you can either turn off everything or turn off app-by-app data sharing.

If you want to be selective about which apps you block, just click on an app you want to disable, scroll down and select “Disable Future Activity”. Repeat this for each website you want to disable.

To disable future bulk data sharing, click “Manage Future Activity”, which will bring up a pop-up window where you need to click “Manage Future Activity”. This will take you to another page where you can enable a toggle for “Future Off-Facebook Activity”.

It will turn everything off. It will also sign you out of any apps you use your Facebook activity to sign in to, which could include popular services like Spotify, Venmo, and Airbnb.

I personally disabled many apps one by one so that I wouldn’t be disconnected from the services I use, such as DoorDash.

If you need to reactivate a service, go to the “Manage future activities” page, then tap on “Activity you deactivated”. There you will see the apps you have disabled. If you click on it, you will see an option to allow activities from this website to reconnect to your Facebook account.