How to Block Facebook and Instagram from Collecting My Data?
Instagram and Facebook are the two dominant social media platforms with billions of active users each. They gather a wide range of user data, including personal data, social connections, and browsing history. Recall the year 2021 when a whistleblower revealed that Facebook knows about the harms of its platform, such as the spread of hate speech, but does not take the necessary steps to fix it.
Due to such incidents and facts, people are becoming more aware of the importance of protecting their privacy and personal data, especially on Instagram and Facebook. People have come to realize that these platforms collect user data that can lead to identity theft, discrimination, and manipulation. As a result, they have started to inquire about how to distance themselves from these platforms. In this article, we will educate you and provide you with information on how to maintain privacy on these platforms.
Guarding Your Digital Privacy: Preventing Instagram and Facebook from Collecting Your Data
Understanding Data Collection by Instagram and Facebook
We are all aware that Instagram and Facebook have been criticized for collecting user data and personal information. They collect a wide range of personal data, including social connections, browsing habits, location data, and IP addresses, among other things. When you create an account on these platforms, you are required to provide your details, which is the most basic way they collect your data. Additionally, when you use the platform through cookies or third-party apps, they also collect data from those sources.
Now, some of you may wonder why they collect your data. The simple answer to this question is to personalize your experience, improve your services, and sell advertising, among other reasons. However, even though these platforms engage in these practices to enhance the user experience, they still have a few potential risks. Some of these risks include a lack of transparency, security risks, targeted advertising, and manipulation. Meanwhile, Facebook’s privacy implications and the risks associated with their data collection are significant, so users should be aware of them and take steps to protect themselves.
Legal and ethical considerations
Because Facebook collects your data, you might be wondering if any laws prohibit this practice. After conducting research, we found that there are several privacy regulations, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA According to these laws, it is considered an offence to mishandle user data, but only when such practices are inconsistent with the regulations. This means that Instagram and Facebook can collect data, but only to the extent allowed by the regulations.
Of course, if Facebook or Instagram fail to comply with these laws and regulations, they will be liable for penalties. It is worth noting that Facebook has already faced consequences for violating user privacy. For example, in 2019, Facebook was fined $5 billion by the US Federal Trade Commission. Regardless of whether it is Facebook or any other platform, all practices are subject to GDPR or other applicable laws, and Facebook must comply with them to avoid fines.
Tools and Methods for Blocking Data Collection
Now that you are aware of Facebook’s data collection practices, the types of data they collect, and the relevant laws, the next step is to find ways to block these social media platforms from collecting your data beyond the limits specified in GDPR or similar regulations. We have identified two major methods to achieve this. The choice of which option to try is up to you. Below, we provide some insights on each of them.
Privacy settings on Instagram and Facebook
- Open Facebook/Instagram on your phone.
- Then head to its Settings Page.
- From there, tap on the Privacy Tab.
- Now modify privacy settings as per your preference given as –
- Who can see your profile?
- Who can see your posts?
- Who can contact you?
- What information is shared with third-party apps?
- Answer these settings by choosing the friends only or custom list option.
- Lastly, save the changes and you are done.
Third-party privacy tools and apps.
Note: Numerous tools help to block ads and trackers through which Facebook/Instagram collect your data such as Privacy Badger, uBlock Origin and so on. But here we are sharing instructions concerning Privacy Badger.
- Firstly, install the Privacy Badger from here.
- Then go to Facebook.com.
- Now click on the Privacy Badger icon appearing on the toolbar.
- Next, click on the Manage blocked trackers button.
- Following this, you will see a list of ads and trackers blocked under the Blocked Trackers Tab.
- That’s it. In this way, you can block Facebook from collecting your data.
Effective Strategies to Evade Facebook’s Data Collection
The above ways let you know about blocking Instagram and Facebook data collection. I hope some of you at this point have made a try. But it may be possible in the future you again get stuck with it. For that fact, we have gathered up a few fundamental tips that can help you to stay away from such downsides for a lifelong period. These helpful strategies or tips are as follows.
- Review your privacy settings
- Disconnect third-party apps from your Facebook/ Instagram account
- Use a privacy-focused browser
- Try working with privacy extensions
- Be careful about the information you are sharing on Facebook
In the end, I want to say that your data privacy matters, and taking control of it is both essential and empowering. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can actively protect your personal information from being collected by Instagram and Facebook. Don’t underestimate the value of safeguarding your digital footprint. Your actions matter a lot, and with the right tools and knowledge, you can facilitate a more private and secure online experience. It’s time to take charge of your data – your digital life, your rules.
Frequently asked questions
Q1. Can Facebook track you if you delete the app?
Ans. Facebook can track your online activity, even if you delete their app.
Q2. Does Facebook track your IP address?
Ans. There are numerous things that Facebook tracks about you, and your IP address is one of them.
Q3. Why is Facebook using all my data?
Ans. They say that by using individual user data, they get to know their interests and accordingly serve each user to provide the best experience.
Q4. Does Facebook sell your data?
Ans. Well, they previously said they didn’t do so, but sources reveal that they share data with advertising companies.
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