How to check & remove apps accessing your Facebook data
With all the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica news, how to check what data you’re sharing with apps and websites has been a hot topic recently.
While you might have opted in to sharing data with various apps and websites in the past, most will find at least one that they don’t need anymore or don’t even remember (hello, Facebook game app from 8 years ago).
Here’s how to find out and delete the apps you don’t recognise or don’t want to share data with.
Find the apps & websites that have access to data
Facebook have been promoting their apps and website tool recently, but it’s been around for a while. They’ve also added the ability to remove multiple apps/websites at once – handy for those who have been using Facebook for a while.
To find it, go to it directly here, or to Settings -> Apps and websites
Here’s what it looks like for me:
What to look for
- Apps or websites that you don’t recognise or remember
- Apps or websites you no longer use
- Apps or websites you don’t feel comfortable sharing data with
Click the ‘edit’ (pencil) next to any app/website to check the settings and what kind of data they are using. You can also search for a specific app if you know what you’re looking for.
I recognise and use all of the above, so they’re staying!
How to remove apps and websites
Check the box next to the app(s) you want to remove, then click the blue ‘Remove’ button on the top right of the screen.
You’ll get a pop up explaining what might be affected, and offering the option to delete any previous posts made by the app to your account.
Remember: this won’t delete your account with the app/website, wipe all the data they have or unsubscribe you from anything – just remove their access to your Facebook data. If you want to completely delete your account and data, you’ll need to contact that specific company directly.
How to edit app data settings
Click on the pencil button next to any app or website and you’ll see the info you currently share with that app. Some of these will be required – the only way to turn them off is to remove the app. However most will be optional, and you can turn them on or off. This type of information could include:
- Public profile (name, profile picture, age, gender, public info) – often the minimum requirement
- Friends list
- Date of birth
- Timeline posts
- Education history
- Current city
- Religious and political views
- Email address
The “edit settings” pop up will also tell you what the app can do, e.g.:
- Manage your ads
- Manage your pages
- Publish as pages you manage
- Access your Page and App insights
and more. Some of these will be essential to the functionality of the app (I need Buffer to be able to post as my page), others not. Choose what you feel comfortable with and you can always edit the settings again later.
Depending on the app/website, you may also see helpful information such as user IDs, which will be useful if you need to directly contact the app developer/company.
And while you’re at it…
Once you’ve checked through the apps and websites that have access to your Facebook data, why not check your other privacy settings?
Basic Facebook privacy settings – who can see your basic information, posts, see you in search results or send friend requests
Timeline & tagging settings – choose who is able to tag you in photos or posts, and post to your timeline.
Your Facebook ad preferences, settings and privacy – you can choose to turn off ads based on your interests, web browsing and social actions. (bonus, have a look at what Facebook thinks your interests are. Mine included “Snake” “Japanese” and “Tax Refund”).