Facebook's new privacy feature 'Off-Facebook Activity', we are being told, is meant to allow users to turn off some or have all of their browsing; online shopping and other activities removed from their history from now onwards.
Facebook collects data about its users' activities in order to gather information to target advertising to their users, of course, to profit through the sales of advertising and sales of data to third parties, including advertisers.
Even with this new feature, after you have disconnected the apps and turned off your browsing, Facebook will continue to collect your data, without it being linked to your account, so Facebook will still benefit from your data which is collected outside your Facebook activities.The only difference is that it will not be allowed to use that particular data to target you with personalised ads.
If Facebook are so keen on 'giving people control over their data', it begs the questions of why the new tool will be hidden under one of the sub-menus, making it hard to access and also, why it will take 48 hours to implement, after you have requested to use the removal tool.
It is also unclear how much detail Facebook is going to provide you about the nature of the data that is being passed on to it via the third party websites and apps.The information is expected to be very limited to the name of the website and the country of its origin.
It is astonishing how much information Facebook has about their users. You only to have to visit a site for a nanosecond or be redirected briefly to a site accidentally and those sites hold your data that is sent back to Facebook.
Working on this new feature over 12 months ago, Facebook referred to it as a 'clear history' tool, much like a web browser, where history can be deleted entirely. This new tool does not do that. It just severs identifying information.
It seems that there is no way out of Facebook still benefiting from using your data, even if you are able to find the Off-Facebook feature under the sub-menu to use it.