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When Facebook knows us better than we know ourselves, what should we do?

People all over the world love using Facebook to interact with friends, family, and engage with online communities. However, people seldom notice that whenever users visit a website, Facebook knows about it and may use the information to profile them better. This data is used for product enhancement or even used for advertising matters.

Consciously or not, people are exposed to online tracking when they are on social media. Facebook knows user information such as name, age, and birthday. Moreover, Facebook "Like" and "Share" buttons that appear on other shopping, news and other sites still contain Facebook trackers. Even if people don’t use them, Facebook uses these buttons to track them.

In this case, users might want to know further how exactly Facebook tracks their activities and collects data through various sources. Prominently, here are some phase on how Facebook tracks and use data:

    • Cookies
    • Facebook Analytics
    • Remodeling the feed which is mind tailoring based on users activities on Facebook.

A cookie can contain several information like the time users visited a website, for how long they stayed on a website, location, items clicked, even all the links clicked on a different website. Facebook, like any other website, utilizes cookies in order to monitor its users. But the problem is that Facebook also places a cookie on users’ computers if they use “Facebook Products, including website or apps, or visit other websites and apps that use Facebook Products (including the Like button or other Facebook Technologies).”

Another practice is by putting a tracking code by secretly rewriting the link of articles that appeared on a Facebook page. This way, they can track whether users like the article or not, sensing their personality and preference through checking on the codes of users activity on a website. These data then served as insights for Facebook Analytics, which results in many information that match users' interests popping up in the feed. 

Facebook knows everything about you. A loaded amount of data owned by Facebook is a valuable asset for the company and needs to be protected at any cost. But the fact is, it was misused and was the source of trouble for millions of users and the company itself. Back in 2018, a former employee of Cambridge Analytica revealed how the company uses about 50 million of Facebook users’ private data for political campaign necessity without their consent. This incident raises questions between users: “How can users prevent privacy violations while using Facebook?”

Facebook Container is a Firefox extension made by Mozilla that helps users set boundaries between Facebook sites (including Instagram and Messenger) and the rest of the web to limit where Facebook can track users. It uses the containers functionality of the Firefox web browser to make Facebook harder to track users on the web.

When users install the extension in Firefox and open Facebook, it gets opened in the container;  if users activate links that point to Facebook, they too get opened in the container. It keeps Facebook isolated in a single container which means that Facebook's like, share and other widgets that websites may embed won't be associated with your Facebook account. In addition, third-party connections to Facebook are not associated with the account. It provides users a smart way to stay connected on Facebook without sacrificing the online privacy.