It’s not every day that you open up your favourite online shopping website and find an amazing pair of sneakers or those perfect running shorts for yourself; but you would definitely be checking out your social media every day. And as soon as you login in, on your Facebook account or open its app, you are bombarded with advertisements and recommendations on “what all you can shop” and “what else you might like” from the very website or shopping app you were surfing from a little while back. We aren’t naive enough to think that all of this is some coincidence and god’s way of telling us to buy it all - it’s simply Facebook monitoring and tracking what you do when you’re offline and not using the app.
Over the years, every now and then the social media giant has been accused of leaking its users’ data and breaching their privacy. We are sure of the long drilling session of Mark Zuckerberg, back in 2018. At that time, Facebook confirmed that at least 50 million users' data was at risk after attackers targeted a vulnerability that allowed them access to user’s personal data. During that time, the company secured 40 million additional accounts out of an abundance of caution. Mark repeatedly apologised for this whole ordeal and reassured better privacy and security to its users.
Well, not sure about the security, but Facebook is surely using your offline data to give you “better services”. In January, Facebook added a new feature in its update, "Off-Facebook Activity" tracker. This tool gives users an itemised list of websites, apps, and real-life stores that Facebook knows that they visited.
According to Facebook, this tool comes in sync with a long-standing promise from Mark, who vowed in 2018 to build a "clear history" tool for Facebook users. This promise was made in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, wherein several apps were accused of improperly accessing the personal information of 50 million people. Although, not you can’t really clear all your history from the app, as according to the company, “it wouldn't be possible for users to delete all their data from Facebook”.