Facebook tracks your activity for advertising

Here’s how to stop it

Social media, Ireland, news source, Facebook, Reuters Institute, Digital News Report, smartphone,

A woman uses her phone at the Facebook stand during the Web Summit in Dublin in 2015 | Image: Niall Carson / PA Archive/Press Association Images

We’ve heard time and time again that companies are tracking what we do online to push tailored ads to us, but did you know there’s a way to turn this tracking off? 

Last summer, Facebook announced it was expanding its ad tracking system. In a statement at the time, the company said

“We’re expanding Audience Network so publishers and developers can show better ads to everyone – including those who don’t use or aren’t connected to Facebook.”

If this doesn’t sound too appealing to you, here’s how you can change the settings on your phone to prevent that sort of tracking. While you will still see the same number of ads, they will not be based upon your recent searches and online activity.


Settings > Privacy > Advertising > Limit Ad Tracking



Settings > Accounts & Sync > Google > Ads > Opt out of interest-based ads

While some companies may not abide by this system, Facebook signed onto the Digital Alliance – a group of companies that has agreed to honour the “do not track” requests.