All the Ways Facebook Tracks You—and How to Limit It

All the Ways Facebook Tracks You—and How to Limit It

by David Nield, WIRED

If you have a Facebook account—and even if you don’t—the company is going to collect data about you. But you can at least control how it gets used.

It won’t come as much of a surprise that Facebook tracks you on its platform—that’s why it can resurface your birthday photos from five years ago—but you might not yet realize the scope and the depth of its tracking all across the internet. Facebook’s tentacles stretch out across other websites and services, into the various apps you’re using on your phone, and to the places you physically visit in the real world—especially if you decide to check in on Facebook while you’re there.

Some of this comes with the territory of using Facebook: If you want to take advantage of its features, then you have to give up a certain amount of information about yourself. But Facebook has ways of keeping tabs on people who aren’t even signed up for the service. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to limit the volume of data that it logs.

How hard you want to pull back depends to a certain extent on how much you trust Facebook. The social network behemoth says it uses your data to show relevant ads and keep you safe; if someone signs into your account from a country you’re not usually in, for instance, Facebook can flag the activity as suspicious.

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