It’s tough to use the internet without being tracked, but it’s not impossible. Companies are starting to hand us tools to help, such as Apple’s App Tracking Transparency feature and DuckDuckGo’s App Tracking Protection. Even Meta, the company that makes its living on data collection, is now offering you a way to control how Instagram tracks your activity across sites and apps.
In announcement last week, Meta revealed new ways for users to manage their data and information across Meta products. “Download Your Information” and “Access Your Information,” for example, are now available in Accounts Center on both Facebook and Instagram, so you can download your data from either platform or both from this location. There’s also a new feature to transfer your information to other platforms.
However, it’s the new “Activity Off-Meta Technologies” setting I want to highlight here. But first, a little backstory: When you leave Instagram to browse other sites and use other apps, the companies that manage those platforms collect your data. Sometimes, they send that data to Meta, and that data can be linked back to your Instagram profile. It’s how these services keep tabs on you to better serve you ads—the ultimate goal of the money-making internet.
The new Activity Off-Meta Technology setting allows you to control this data other companies send to Meta. This option used to be known as “off-Facebook activity,” and it worked about the same, only for data connected to your Facebook account. Now, Meta is rolling Instagram into this setting, hence the “Meta” in the name.
You’ll find these new options, once they land in your account, under the Accounts Center in your Instagram settings. Here, you’ll be able to review any recent activity connected to your account, disconnect specific activity, clear previous activity, and manage future activity.As long as Meta makes money on ads and data collection, it won’t be a privacy-first company. But tools like this are important to take advantage of when you can, so you can grab back some of the personal information we’ve all given away in the digital age.
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