Protect Your Facebook Privacy — Or Just Delete Yourself Completely

If the revelations that Cambridge Analytica acquired the records of 50 million Facebook users has you wondering how to protect your own personal information, you may already have discovered the maze of privacy settings the social networking site offers.

First, the good news: the feature that allowed the most egregious data harvesting used by the company that gave Cambridge Analytica its data is no longer on the site.

Before 2016, Facebook apps could ask for permission to access not only your own data, but also the data of all your friends on the platform. That means that around 300,000 people could sign up for a personality test quiz, and in the process hand over information of 150 times that number.

Now, however, Facebook apps are only allowed to gather information from users who have directly signed up for them, greatly limiting their reach. That change was made in 2014, and rolled out to every Facebook app over the course of 2015.

But it's still the case that apps which you have directly enabled can harvest a significant amount of data from your account -- often information which you might be surprised to know you're handing over.

The app settings page on Facebook is the place to manage the apps you've given access to. Clicking on the link will bring up a list of apps under "logged in with Facebook." Hopefully you'll recognize most of them -- if there's any you don't, consider clicking the "X," deauthorizing them from your account.

You might also want to click on the edit button under the "apps others use" heading lower down the page. This takes you to your privacy settings for the modern version of the same feature Cambridge Analytica profited from. The information others can hand over on your behalf is limited, but still includes data such as...

Comments are closed.