Tons of controversies tell how Facebook is breaching its users’ privacy rights in many, unimaginable ways. Since stories revealed that Facebook has been giving out personal information of the users to third party sites, people who value their privacy have become wary of their account settings. Most of them go through complicated privacy settings to make sure that the companies they’ve entrusted their personal information would make legal efforts to protect it. But you don’t have to go through this – not anymore. There’s an easy way to keep your personal information safe, and you, in full control.
A few years ago, the Facebook privacy controversy bomb had set off, releasing a banging sound that wobbled the globe. The social media giant has access to their users’ private information, which the company lets third parties violate in innumerable ways. Just recently, the public knew that Cambridge Analytica, a data analytics company, acquired access to more than 50 million users’ data in 2014. The data were collected, shared and used without user consent. However, due to Facebook’s terms of service and API at the time, what happened wasn’t classified as data breach. It was just how Facebook’s infrastructure is designed to work.
This news is just one of the countless questions that Facebook is being thrown at including the gigantic 2016 Presidential election scandal. It reflected the privacy risks that users face such as, sharing, collecting, and storing of their personal information without giving permission to marketers, brokers and social media companies.
There are practical and realistic ways that tech companies can do to protect their users. They should give more control to users over what data can be collected, and how the data can be used. There should be transparency, and independent researches with no corporate interest must be allowed to conduct tests and audit the systems. Additionally, the users must be allowed to leave the platform together with their data when they do.
For people who value their privacy that much, leaving Facebook has been always an available choice. However, for most users, that solution isn’t viable. While legislators and regulators try to understand the implications of this privacy issue, what an average person can do to take control of their privacy settings is to prevent their data from going through Facebook’s API. This option disables all platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Farmville. This setting also means the user can’t log into other sites using their Facebook login.
Open Facebook and go to the App Settings page. You can also do it manually via the Settings Menu > Apps.
Once there, click the “Edit” button found under “Apps, Websites and Games,” and click “Turn Off.”