How to control what apps, websites access your Facebook information

Update settings or remove apps to eliminate possibility of data misuse

Some Facebook users started seeing a post Monday by the social media site that read "see how you're affected." The tool is slowly being rolled out at the top of news feeds to inform users if they're among the tens of millions of people who had their data improperly harvested by Cambridge Analytica.

Facebook said Cambridge Analytica may have obtained information on about 87 million Facebook users without the users' knowledge.

Message from Facebook about app access.
Message from Facebook about app access.

The app used to collect user data was called “This is Your Digital Life.” Facebook said that app has been banned.

However, there are many other applications and websites that access user information through Facebook.

When a website or an application asks users to create a new login or elect to use their Facebook profile as a login instead that is how some sites get access to user information that includes names, birthdays, email address and sometimes entire friend lists.

Each application’s settings can be edited on Facebook to allow you to choose what information you share.

To do that log in to Facebook and visit the “Settings” tab, then click “Apps and Websites.”

App and website settings on Facebook
App and website settings on Facebook

There the list of websites and applications that you have approved at any time will be listed.  Next to each site, you can see what setting was installed when you gave that app permission to access your Facebook profile.

Click the pencil icon next to the app to see what information is being accesses and who can see you use that app, or click the check box and remove the app from your Facebook account all together.

Application settings on Facebook
Application settings on Facebook

Facebook said it will review thousands of apps to search for additional access abuse.

"If we find developers that misused personally identifiable information, we will ban them and tell everyone affected by those apps," CEO Mark Zuckerberg said.

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