Updated: May 19
Control is important to you, especially when it comes to your data. Facebook took note and is changing how you view and manage your data on the platform.
Off-Facebook Activity is a tool that gives you more control of your data.
Off-Facebook activity summarizes activities that businesses share with Facebook about your interactions, such as visiting their apps or websites. The businesses share that info with Facebook using business tools such as Facebook Pixel.
Checking what information is shared is straightforward.
How To Access Off-Facebook Activity
Click Account in the top right of Facebook.
Select Settings & Privacy, then click Settings.
Click Your Facebook Information at the left column.
Click Off-Facebook Activity to review. From here, you can also click Manage Your Off-Facebook Activity for more information. You'll be asked to re-enter your password.
Once you check it, you'll see the information that Facebook receives and how they received your information.
Additionally, there is a wealth of data you now have access to.
The number of interactions they've received. According to Facebook, interactions can include:
Logging into an app with Facebook
Searching for an item
Adding an item to a shopping cart
Making a purchase
Making a donation
Activity from apps and websites you've logged into with Facebook. This data shows activity from businesses or organizations that use Facebook Login.
Activity from data service providers and marketing agencies. If some of your data looks unfamiliar, it's possible it was sent by a data provider or marketing agency. Businesses may use this option to understand their customers' interactions with their websites and apps.
Activity that isn't related to any actions you've taken. Some activities in your summary may include updates from an app or website that are not tied to an action you've taken. Facebook will show you when they received that update.
Not All Activity Is Available
An important thing to keep in mind about the off-Facebook activity is that not all activities will show.
The summary doesn't have your most recent activity. It can take a few days or more to show up. The dates listed are the dates Facebook received the data, not necessarily when the action occurred.
Facebook also receives additional information they don't share. They cite "technical and accuracy reasons" for not showing the additional information.
This can include things like the information they've received when you're not logged into Facebook or when they can't confirm that you've previously used Facebook on a specific device.
And while they can share that you've added an item to your cart, they don't show details like the item you've added to your cart.
What Facebook does with your off-Facebook activity:
Facebook uses your off-Facebook activity for a variety of reasons including:
Show you more relevant ads
Suggest groups, events, or Marketplace items
Help you discover new businesses and brands
Identify suspicious activity
When reviewing your off-Facebook activity, one crucial thing to remember is that Facebook doesn't sell your information.
They don't allow businesses to share sensitive health, financial, or password data.
This is a step in the right direction for Facebook. Their past issues with data have accelerated their focus on data privacy. To stay on top of what else is happening in the world of data privacy, subscribe to our monthly newsletter.