How to stop Facebook from tracking you around the web

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Chris Jackson/Getty Images

For the first time, Facebook will use information about people who don’t have accounts on the social network to show them ads on other websites through its Audience Network, the company announced earlier this week.

Facebook’s Audience Network lets brands extend their Facebook ad campaignsoffof Facebook using the same targeting data as they useon it, and previously the social network only showed these ads to people who had accounts.It had already collected information on their interests from their Facebook activity.

But now Facebook will use information it collects about everyone on the internet through cookies, plugins, and other pieces of code on websites across the internet to show more ads.

“Our buttons and plugins send over basic information about users’ browsing sessions,” Facebook ad exec Brian Bosworth explained to The Wall Street Journal. “For non-Facebook members, previously we didn’t use it. Now we’ll use it to better understand how to target those people.”

A ton of other companies already track you across the internet for the same kind of interest-based advertising that Facebook’s doing.

The company says that its own ads are less annoying and better tailored to your interests since it can use what it has learned from its 1.65 billion members to choose better ads for non-Facebook users with less information.

But if you’re a non-Facebook user who would rather not see Facebook’s interest-based ads, here’s how to opt out:


First, you need to go to the Digital Advertising Alliance website, which will show you all the companies showing interest-based ads in your browser:

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Digital Advertising Alliance

Click this link on your smartphone.


You might be surprised to see how many companies are tracking you:

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Digital Advertisers Alliance

But just select whichever ones you want and press “submit your choices”:

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Facebook

Alternatively, Facebook says you can tap the AdChoices icon next to an Audience Network ad. Here’s what that icon looks like:

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Time

If you are a Facebook user, you can opt out of online interest-based advertising in your Facebook settings:

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Facebook

Click this link to make adjustments.


With this move, Facebook updated its cookies policy, so all European users saw this warning at the top of their feeds:

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Facebook