Facebook has said that the company has sent email notifications to its users to alert them to the new changes, along with putting in place a “seven day comment period” that allowed them to discuss the updated policy. The new system is set to come into place on February 28th, and if you’ve already noticed how ads on Facebook are creepily able to deduce which websites you’ve been visiting, then after the end of this month there’ll be a lot more of that happening.
Select parts of the new policy can be opted out of through Facebook’s ad settings page, which you can access right here. However, the policies that you can place restrictions upon through Facebook itself are only limited to “social adverts,” which pairs your usage with that of your Facebook friends’, and Facebook giving third-party sites access to use your name or picture. The latter is an ad tactic which Facebook isn’t implementing right now, but can still be opted out of in case the site changes its policies once again in the future.
If you want to prevent Facebook from tracking your internet usage altogether, then you’ll have to contact the Digital Advertising Alliance in the US, or its European and Canadian equivalent, which will prevent individual Facebook ad targeting altogether. You can also alter your settings with your mobile device to prevent Facebook tracking you via your smartphone.
This is what Facebook has to say about the new policy:
For those who are already suspicious of Facebook’s increasingly ad-focused, privacy-infringing business practices, then this new move will likely come as little surprise. Unfortunately, we value our privacy far less than we used to, so it’s difficult to imagine many of its users actively seeking to prevent the social network from tracking their footsteps on the internet and following up their concerns with the DAA.