How to Fight Back Against Data Broker Advertising on Facebook
Facebook users now have even more control over how Facebook and its advertisers use their personal data.
Facebook has become more transparent about how targeted ads work on its service, and (slowly) added new options that let users tailor their ad experience. Now, the company is letting users see which data broker and advertising agencies’ lists they’re on, and it’s giving users an easier way to opt out of advertising campaigns related to this targeting.
How to see which data brokers have you on their lists
You can now find a list of all the advertisers that have shared and used your personal data—like your email address, phone number, and browsing data—to find and send you targeted Facebook ads over the past 90 days.
- On mobile, click the hamburger icon and go to Settings & Privacy > Settings > Ad Preferences > Advertisers and Businesses. (On desktop, just go to this site to find the “Advertisers and Businesses” section.)
- In this menu are two sections worth looking at: one listing advertisers “Who uploaded a list with your info and advertised to it,” and another for businesses “Who have uploaded and shared a list with your info.”
- Click or tap “see all” or “see more” at the bottom of either section to view the full list of businesses.
How to opt-out of advertising based on data broker lists
While surfacing this information gives you more understanding and agency over their Facebook experience, hidden deeper within one of these menus are options for controlling what information advertisers are allowed to collect and share.
- Click or tap “see all” or “see more” for the section related to businesses “Who have uploaded and shared a list with your info”
- On mobile, tap on each businesses’ name, then tap on Privacy options. On desktop, click View details > Privacy options under each business.
- This will take you to that business’s opt-out page. Follow the instruction to opt-out of the data sharing.
The list will likely be pretty long—mine was 48—but you’ll need to individually opt-out with each company if you don’t want your data being shared.
Change how your Facebook data impacts advertising
Before you close out of your settings menu, there are a few other options worth reviewing under Settings > Ad Preferences > Ad settings. Here you’ll find three settings that control who has access to your Facebook data and whether they can use it for:
- Ads based on data from partners
- Ads based on your activity on Facebook Company Products that you see elsewhere
- Ads that include your social actions
Disabling these settings won’t stop advertising on Facebook, but it’ll at least give you a little more control about how your data is used to advertise to you.