Scarcely a year has gone by since the social network’s inception that at least one privacy-motivated backlash hasn’t beset Facebook, and given that the Menlo Park firm is now selling your search history to help advertisers better target you with specific products, you have to say that the adverse reaction in some quarters of the tech community is self imposed by Zuck and his firm this time around. But while this is almost entirely bad news for some concerned Facebook users, there is a silver lining in that you can opt out should you so wish, and here, we’re going to show you how.
Tailored ads are, in actual fact, a better deal all round. They prevent you, the user from having to suffer completely irrelevant advertising of products that are inappropriate to your particular taste or demographic, and more to the point, Facebook’s ad spots are more valuable if they’re being pushed into the faces of people that are interested in said product.
As such, Facebook will be utilizing your search history, along with information on websites and apps you use, and this concerted gathering of information will roll out initially to the United States users.
Facebook’s advertising machine already checks on your likes and status updates to better determine the kinds of products and services you may buy, but interest-based ads will take the current system to new heights. If you don’t wish to be a part of the advertising merry-go-round, though, removing yourself is thankfully much easier than you’d perhaps assume.
For purpose of clarification, we’re going to show you how to opt out via the Web app on your computer, and also, through the iOS and Android apps.
As ever with Facebook, configuring via your computer’s Web browser is arguably the simplest way to go.
Log into your Facebook profile from your Web browser and then go to settings then click on Ads and under Website and Mobile App Custom Audiences click on Opt out. The next page you’re taken to features an Opt Out button front and center, simply click it and the Submit button in the resulting pop-up box.
If you’re in ownership of an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, launch the Settings app on your device. Then tap on Privacy, scroll down to Advertising and turn on Limit Ad Tracking.
Finally, Android users will need to hunt down the Google Settings app, tap on Ads, and check the
“Opt out of interest-based ads” option.
Once you’ve followed these steps for all of your devices, Facebook will not be able to target you using its new techniques, and although interest-based ads aren’t the end-all, be-all for some, it’s nice to know that there are ways around what is seen as invasion of privacy by others.