New Delhi: Meta, the social media giant formerly known as Facebook, has been facing mounting criticism and scrutiny over its handling of users’ personal data. The company has been accused of violating users’ privacy rights by collecting and sharing their online activity data with third-party apps and websites for targeted advertising and other purposes. Many users have expressed their concerns over how Meta tracks and uses their data without their consent.
To address these issues and to give users more control over their online activity data, Meta has launched a new privacy setting called Activity Off-Meta Technologies. This is a tool that allows users to see and manage the data that apps and websites share with Meta when they interact with them. This includes information such as visits, clicks, purchases, registrations, and more.
With this tool, users can view a summary of the apps and websites that have shared their activity data with Meta in the past 180 days. They can also disconnect this data from their account, which means that Meta will not use it to show them personalized ads or content. Users can also choose to disconnect future activity from their account, which means that Meta will stop receiving their activity data from apps and websites. Additionally, users can delete all their off-Meta activity data from their account history.
This tool is available for all Meta products, including Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp. Users can access it from the settings menu of each app or website. For example, to stop Instagram from tracking your internet activity, you can follow these steps:
- Open the Instagram app and tap your profile photo in the bottom right corner.
- Tap on the three live options in the top right corner. After this go to Settings and Privacy.
- Tap Activity and then tap Activity Off-Meta Technologies.
- Toggle on Disconnect Future Activity to stop Instagram from tracking your activity on other apps and websites.
- From here you can also manage your previous activities.
Meta claims that this tool is part of its commitment to transparency and user empowerment. However, some critics have argued that the tool is not easy to find or use and that it does not prevent Meta from collecting users’ data in the first place. They have also pointed out that disconnecting or deleting off-Meta activity data does not affect how apps and websites use or share that data with other parties. Therefore, users are advised to review the privacy policies and settings of the apps and websites they use and to exercise caution when sharing their personal information online.