On May 15, 2018, The Wall Street Journal reported that the data firm that had been contracted by President Donald Trump during 2016 presidential campaigns was closing down. The eventual closure is a result of the allegations of personal data misuse by Facebook and the underhand campaign tactics it employed to get clients.
In a press statement, Facebook stated that data for around 87 million users, which had been improperly obtained by Cambridge Analytica, had been shared with third parties. The Wall Street Journal went on to inform that almost all favorite Facebook apps – Causes, Quiz Planet, and Farmville among them – were sharing users’ information with marketing and tracking firms.
The problem leads to questions on exactly how to stop third parties from accessing personal data. It has been revealed that the apps were wrongly publishing addresses and unique IDs of Facebook users, and in extreme cases, even their names.
The apps in question were transmitting Facebook IDs to not less than 25 data and advertising firms, many of which created profiles of web users through tracking their online habits.
The findings by The Wall Street Journal show that your friends were possibly sharing your vital details as a result of the apps they use. These apps, according to investigations, were disseminating user IDs to a firm called RapLeaf, which mainly deals in compilation and selling of individuals’ profiles anchored on their online activities. The apps involved in this breach included Quiz Creator and Gift Creator. RapLeaf allegedly matched user IDs gotten from these applications to information already in their system. The company transmitted IDs to digital advertising firms that included Invite Media, which is owned by Google Inc.
It is a crazy wild world out there. The obvious question arising from this information is how one can stop all this from happening. Or when push comes to shove, how does an individual reduce the risk of exposure? These are the elephants in the room we shall now tackle.
Completely turning off the Facebook apps is the only way to guarantee that they are not sharing your vital information. The procedure is after self-assessing oneself as to the need for these apps, how often you use them, and the frequency in utilizing them. Facebook apps have been known to be time wasters and in no way enhance nor optimize your utilization of the site.
Step 1: Choose ‘Private settings’ from the right-hand corner of the menu.
Step 2. On the Privacy settings page, at the bottom left corner, there is a link that allows you to change your settings for both applications and websites. Click on it.
Step 3. On the Applications and settings page, there is an option to “Turn off all platform applications.” Click on it.
Step 4. Click on the “Select all” box at the bottom left corner which allows you to select all applications. Then click on the Turn Off Platform icon.
Step 5. The final screen should now appear this way on your end. If this is the case, your work’s done, and your security level is now up to speed. You are good to go.
By turning off apps on Facebook, you end up turning off pages that bring you options to like articles and websites as you while away. For this reason, you may opt for manual removal of these apps rather than permanently deleting all apps. In this regard, all apps that may share and distribute personal data are removed but not your favorite pages from writers and bloggers you ardently follow.