PSA: How to Disable Facebook’s Data-Gathering Tool for Better Privacy

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, is facing challenges due to its data-gathering practices that support personalized advertisements. The European Union has imposed legislation giving users the right to choose whether or not to allow their personal data to be used for targeted ads. As a result, Meta’s business model is under threat, and the company is looking for alternative ways to comply with the law.

One strategy that Meta is using to fight back against the legal threats is by offering ad-free subscriptions in the EU. However, some doubt that this approach is enough to meet the legal requirements. In response to the legal pressures, Meta has introduced a new feature called “Link History,” which collects data on the links users click on in the Facebook app. This data is then used for targeted ads, despite the company’s claim that it is intended to benefit users by providing a way to save and organize links.

Users can opt out of the Link History feature, but the default setting is turned on, and the data is still used for targeted ads. Facebook provides instructions for users to opt out of Link History, but it is important to note that this “feature” is rolling out gradually, so not all users may see it yet. Additionally, the company also offers the option to clear existing Facebook browsing history.

The introduction of the Link History feature has raised concerns about privacy and data protection. Meta’s attempt to present data-gathering as a beneficial tool for users has been met with skepticism. Critics argue that the company’s true intention is to continue collecting personal data for targeted advertising, despite the legal challenges it faces.

As the legal scrutiny of Meta’s data-gathering practices continues, it remains to be seen whether offering ad-free subscriptions and presenting data-gathering as a user benefit will be enough to address the concerns of regulators and protect users’ privacy. Furthermore, as Meta navigates through this legal minefield, the company’s approach to data-gathering and targeted advertising will likely continue to evolve in response to changing regulations and user expectations.