Finally some piece of news that invokes the public’s focus on surveillance is making the rounds. Facebook is dealing with a scandal around the corporation’s use of data from Cambridge Analytica, a British political research company.
Thanks to the massive data collecting operation known as Facebook, Cambridge Analytica obtained 50 million Facebook users’ personal information.
You know those things you agree to on your phone, to allow an app to use your files and all that?
Well Cambridge didn’t obtain this data through a hack, but through a Facebook app that gave a researcher the data of a user, and even the data of their friends.
Every time a person downloads an app or signs into a website using Facebook, their Facebook profile is being exposed to these corporations.
Your current location and history of employment, your email address and phone number, all of this information you think is private or only seen by your friends on Facebook can be accessed by companies you agree to share the data with in those little brief dialogues they pressure you into when you use the app.
Not only that, but if your Facebook friend uses a lot of ridiculous apps that harvest their data, those apps can see your Facebook data as well, as if they are seeing it through the lens of your Facebook friend.
Here is how to prevent that from happening.
1. To begin, on the far right side of your Facebook page, find this arrow symbol.
2. Now we’re going to go far into the settings where most people usually don’t look.
3. Once you arrive in the settings, go to Apps.
4. This is the meat of the issue: this is the list of company apps currently tracking you on Facebook. The original article that captured these screencaps noted that this user has allowed 54 apps to access their Facebook account. Now, click on the “show all” button to see the entire list.
5. And here are the apps tracking this user. It may even require zooming out to see them all.
6. Now, place your cursor over one of the apps. There are options: you can delete the app completely, or manually edit the permissions granted to the app.
7. For this user, TripAdvisor harvested their age, email, and work history.
8. Now you should scroll a bit further down in the settings > apps section. More options are there, and two of presumably the most important are highlighted in this image.
9. All the data you’re letting friends see can be accessed inside “Apps Others Use.” That data is being seen by the apps used by your friends..!