Recent news have reported that Facebook is facing a crisis after a revelation from British political research company Cambridge Analytica that it has obtained information from Facebook users. This includes that of 50 million users through a ‘legitimate’ method. Gone are the days when safety was only about your child. It now affects adults too.
No misuse of data
What makes this revelation so sensational is that Cambridge Analytica did not obtain the data through any illegitimate means like hacking or such. Instead, it used a Facebook app which helped them extract the data of users and their networks.
Why is this happening?
The truth is, a lot of us do this willingly. People who use Facebook or related sites like these forget that they are giving companies the permission to look at their profiles. This relates to information like your email address, your working experience and even your location at the moment. How this works is that
Most people when you share your data with your friends, you are opening up the channel for the friends to see your data as well through the apps that use them. In Facebook, your name, employer (both present and previous) cannot be seen by:
- Facebook-app developers
- Ad-tech partners
When you do this, Facebook protects your data by encrypting and anomyizing your data. It must however be noted that Facebook do sell your data (not just you alone but in bulk) to other companies who are might need to target and track people from certain backgrounds.
Can you know and stop them?
So, is it even possible to know what apps are using your data through Facebook and how to block them? Just follow the steps below:
- Look for the arrow symbol in your Facebook page which is situated on the far right
- this is where you will be using the settings function.
- within the Settings page, look for Apps and then select that
- this is where you will then see that list of apps that are tracking you in Facebook. It is one of the most shocking and startling revelations for any Facebook user. Just in case there are some ‘hidden’ ones, click on ‘Show All’. This will then show you the full list
- zoom out so that you can now see all the apps that are using your data and the data here will surely be interesting.
- as you move your pointer over any of the apps, you will then be given more options. This is where you need to either give your permission or choose not to so that it cannot access your data via Facebook.
- Note that not every app will track everything but may be just certain data.
- You will now need to review the permissions you are giving to every app. This could be so many that it will take a long time to finish checking them all. Unless you are ready to give your data freely to other apps, you might want to go through this painful but necessary process
- Then, move on down to the Settings > Apps function where you should choose the ‘Apps Others Use’ function. This is where you can go through Facebook to play games as an anonymous user. Under this function, you can now view what data your friends are seeing and the apps that they have which are using your data.
Interesting isn’t it? Now that you know how you can see what other apps are doing to your data, it is time to clean up your profile and stop sharing free data to just about anyone.