• Mz. GG

Stop Companies from Harvesting your Facebook Data.

A revelation has it that a research company named Cambridge Analytica harvested data of more than 50 million Facebook users to use in the run-up to the United States presidential election in 2016. That’s a lot of data, isn’t it? Now take a trip back to memory lane, remember those third-party apps you’ve given access to your Facebook data? Now is a good time to make the decision of revoking the access of apps you are not comfortable with.

Cambridge Analytica obtained data through an innocent looking personality profile tool called “thisisyourdigitallife”, so sinister, represented by an innocent looking name. Here’s a simple guide on how to find that Rat looking at your profile and stop any apps from having more than unusual access that they shouldn't.

Let me tell you exactly what you are sharing.

Have you ever been in this scenario?

When you want to use an online service, and you are given the option of creating an account for that site or logging in to your Facebook or Goggle account. It’s no doubt and often tempting to

opt-in to using any of the latter to save your precious time with one click of a confirmation button. By doing this, you might end up sharing a huge chunk of your data than you realize.

Logging into an app on Facebook, you can share an immense amount of your information that is invaluable to advertisers and organization like the not so innocent Cambridge Analytica, including:

  • Full name

  • Friend list

  • Profile picture

  • Photos

  • Education

  • Work history

  • Quizzes and personality tests shared on Facebook also request for your data, and it’s all too easy to simply accept.

The Good news is, you can disconnect these apps and here’s how.

How do you see apps you’ve given permission to access your data? Check your App Settings page, doubt you would recognize most of these apps.

Click on any of the apps to see what information you are sharing with the developers. You can choose to stop sharing some certain types of information with an app, although it’s impossible to stop an app from accessing your public profile without disconnecting it completely.

The exact options presented when you click on an app depends on its developers. Sometimes you’ll be able to view a full privacy policy, but it’s not mandatory for developers to create one. If you’ve previously given an app permission to post on your wall, removing the app will also give you the option for the removal of those posts.

Have it in mind that after removal of an app, the developer might still have your data. Facebook notes that the only way to remove this is to contact the developer yourself.

Lesson learnt. How do you share less of your data in future?

To stop the sharing of your Facebook with any third parties, select ‘edit’ under ‘apps, websites and plug-ins’ and disconnect your account from the Facebook platform (a set of tools and services for developers to create their own products).

Your friends might install apps that share your information with third parties, so it's worth taking a minute to consider what they can see – Credit: Techrader

You don't just need to worry about your own sharing preferences, either – third parties can also receive your data when your friends install an app. According to Facebook, this "makes their experience better and more social", but since you have no control over which apps they trust, it's wise to consider turning this off. To prevent this, visit your App Settings, select 'Edit' under the heading 'Apps other people use' and uncheck all the categories you'd rather keep private.

Finally, whenever you log into a site using Facebook or connect a new app, make sure you check which information it's requesting and consider whether it's really worthwhile.

#facebook #appprivacysettings #apps #socialmedia


Gadgets & Geekery is a blog dedicated to finding and sharing new and exciting geek technology, movies, anime, comics and all around geek culture with people who have similar interests.

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