There are two primary ways Facebook collects information about you: the first is through information it collects from websites and apps you give it permission to get your information from, and the second is information that it gets from third parties, such as marketing firms and ad networks. Facebook primarily uses this information to show you ads that are more highly-tailored to your interests. Thankfully, as a result of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook has released a new Clear History tool. The Facebook Clear History tool lets you see all of the places outside of Facebook where Facebook is gathering your information from, and lets disassociate yourself from that data. It’s important to note the Facebook Clear History tool doesn’t delete your off-Facebook activity data the company acquired, but just remove your account’s association with that data.
Steps to Clear Your Off-Facebook Activity History
- Launch the Facebook app on your iPhone, iPad or Android device. You’ll land on your Facebook home screen.
- Tap the “Menu” icon in the lower right corner of the screen. The Menu screen appears.
- Scroll down to the bottom of this screen, and then tap “Settings and Privacy” to expand those options. Tap “Settings” in that list. The Settings screen is displayed.
- Scroll down to the Your Facebook Information section, and then choose “Off-Facebook Activity” in that section. The Off-Facebook Activity screen appears.
- Select “Clear History.” The Clear History screen is displayed, notifying you that if you move forward with cleaning your off-Facebook activity your information will not be deleted, but rather disconnected from your account, and also that you’ll still see the same number of ads.
- Tap “Clear History.” You’ll be returned to the Off-Facebook Activity screen, where a message will appear in a green banner on the screen notifying you that your Facebook activity has successfully been cleared.