No, Facebook is not telling you everything

Download your information page with dates going from account creation to date of download

Indeed, we’ve found that the list provided by Facebook varies from one month to the other, removing some companies that were appearing previously and adding new ones. This goes hand in hand with a recent move by Facebook to limit the number of advertisers displayed on the site (without downloading anything, by visiting your Ads preferences when your are signed in) to the last 7 days.

Altogether, this means that there is no way for users to know all the companies who uploaded a list with their data to Facebook. This prevents people from exercising/using their rights under GDPR - despite there being a clear obligation to facilitate the excercise of these right…

This is an issue we see both at the back end (in the download your informaiton tool) and the front end in the ads that we see , where there is a lack of transparency from Facebook on how advertisers target you. The lack of information and difficulties in exercising rights, renforces an opaque environment where people are unaware of how their data is gathered, shared and used to profile and target them.

Off-Facebook activity, a new widow to the opacity

On 28 January 2020, Facebook announced the roll-out of another new feature called Off-Facebook activity. This tool is meant to let you “see and control the data that other apps and websites share with Facebook”.

Unfortunately, this tool is once again a tiny sticking plaster on a much wider problem. While we welcome the effort to offer more transparency to users by showing the companies from which Facebook is receiving personal data, the tool offers little way for users to take any action.

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