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What is Facebook’s new ‘Off-Facebook Activity’ tool and can you shut it off? – Global News



Facebook users now have a little more insight into how the social media giant collects information about us — both on and off the platform.

A new tool launched worldwide Tuesday — coinciding with Data Privacy Day — shows users a list of information that businesses share with Facebook about your interactions with them.

The tracking feature shows information that Facebook has collected about your activity off the app over the past 180 days. Here’s where you can find your full activity list.

Facebook says it is banning deepfakes in effort to fight online manipulation

When you visit a website or use an app, the companies typically share information about your activity and “interactions” with Facebook. Facebook then uses that information to “personalize your experience” — i.e. target you with relevant ads.

Interactions, as defined by Facebook, range from everything from opening the app to searching an item to making a purchase or adding an item to a wishlist.

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Users are now able to see how the activity was received, how many interactions were recorded and by what company.

New Facebook policy bans deepfakes

New Facebook policy bans deepfakes

The tool, initially known as Clear History, was first introduced by CEO Mark Zuckerberg at a developers’ conference in 2018. The announcement came in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, where personal information from millions of people’s Facebook profiles was harvested without their consent.

Re-named the Off-Facebook Activity tool, it began gradually rolling out to some countries by August 2019. Now, it’s available to Facebook’s two billion users around the world.

Facebook to expand access to encryption feature on Messenger

Zuckerberg touted the tool as a “new level of transparency and control” in a blog post on Tuesday.

“Other businesses send us information about your activity on their sites and we use that information to show you ads that are relevant to you,” Zuckerberg wrote.

“Now, you can see a summary of that information and clear it from your account if you want to.”

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Not a fan of the new tool? You can use the “clear history” control to disconnect the information from your account. Find the instructions for that here.

You can also choose to turn off your “future off-Facebook activity,” meaning the collection of your interactions on apps and websites outside of Facebook. By choosing to turn this activity off, you’ll also disconnect your past off-Facebook activity.

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While you might see the same number of ads, Facebook says they may be less personalized to you. You can find out how to turn off this setting here.

Learn more about Data privacy day 2020

Learn more about Data privacy day 2020

Along with this rollout, over the next few weeks, Facebookers will also start to see prompts encouraging them to make use of the app’s Privacy Checkup tools to review their privacy settings.

“This makes it even easier to adjust who can see your posts and profile information, strengthen your account by turning on login alerts and review the information you share with applications you’ve logged into with Facebook,” he wrote.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Britain in talks with 6 firms about building gigafactories for EV batteries



Britain is in talks with six companies about building gigafactories to produce batteries for electric vehicles (EV), the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing people briefed on the discussions.

Car makers Ford Motor Co and Nissan Motor Co Ltd, conglomerates LG Corp and Samsung, and start-ups Britishvolt and InoBat Auto are in talks with the British government or local authorities about locations for potential factories and financial support, the report added .


(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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EBay to sell South Korean unit for about $3.6 billion to Shinsegae, Naver



EBay will sell its South Korean business to retailer Shinsegae Group and e-commerce firm Naver for about 4 trillion won ($3.6 billion), local newspapers reported on Wednesday.

EBay Korea is the country’s third-largest e-commerce firm with market share of about 12.8% in 2020, according to Euromonitor. It operates the platforms Gmarket, Auction and G9.

Shinsegae, Naver and eBay Korea declined to comment.

Lotte Shopping had also been in the running, the Korea Economic Daily and other newspapers said, citing unnamed investment banking sources.

South Korea represents the world’s fourth largest e-commerce market. Driven by the coronavirus pandemic, e-commerce has soared to account for 35.8% of the retail market in 2020 compared with 28.6% in 2019, according to Euromonitor data.

Shinsegae and Naver formed a retail and e-commerce partnership in March by taking stakes worth 250 billion won in each other’s affiliates.

($1 = 1,117.7000 won)


(Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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Canada launches long-awaited auction of 5G spectrum



Canada is set to begin a hotly anticipated auction of the mobile telecommunications bandwidth necessary for 5G rollout, one that was delayed more than a year by the pandemic.

The 3,500 MHz is a spectrum companies need to provide 5G, which requires more bandwidth to expand internet capabilities.The auction, initially scheduled for June 2020, is expected to take several weeks with Canadian government selling off 1,504 licenses in 172 service areas.

Smaller operators are going into the auction complaining that recent regulatory rulings have further tilted the scales in the favour of the country’s three biggest telecoms companies – BCE, Telus and Rogers Communications Inc – which together control around 90% of the market as a share of revenue.

Canadian mobile and internet consumers, meanwhile, have complained for years that their bills are among the world’s steepest. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government has threatened to take action if the providers did not cut bills by 25%.

The last auction of the 600 MHz spectrum raised C$3.5 billion ($2.87 billion) for the government.

The companies have defended themselves, saying the prices they charge are falling.

Some 23 bidders including regional players such as Cogeco and Quebec’s Videotron are participating in the process. Shaw Communications did not apply to participate due to a $16 billion takeover bid from Rogers. Lawmakers and analysts have warned that market concentration will intensify if that acquisition proceeds.

In May, after Canada‘s telecoms regulator issued a ruling largely in favour of the big three on pricing for smaller companies’ access to broadband networks, internet service provider TekSavvy Inc withdrew from the auction, citing the decision.

Some experts say the government has been trying to level the playing field with its decision to set aside a proportion of spectrum in certain areas for smaller companies.

Gregory Taylor, a spectrum expert and associate professor at the University of Calgary, said he was pleased the government was auctioning off smaller geographic areas of coverage.

In previous auctions where the license covered whole provinces, “small providers could not participate because they could not hope to cover the range that was required in the license,” Taylor said.

Smaller geographic areas mean they have a better chance of fulfilling the requirements for the license, such as providing service to 90% of the population within five years of the issuance date.

The auction has no scheduled end date, although the federal ministry in charge of the spectrum auction has said winners would be announced within five days of bidding completion.

($1 = 1.2181 Canadian dollars)


(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Vancouver; Editing by David Gregorio)

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