Instagram users just retained a bit more privacy online as the Meta-owned app now lets its users tell Instagram not to track their activity across the web.
The ability to block tracking across other websites and apps already exists on Facebook, but Meta only announced its coming to Instagram Tuesday. Users can find the setting in the Accounts Center page, which will display Meta profiles across apps, like someone’s separate Facebook and Instagram pages. From here, it’s possible to see which business are sending Meta data about a user, disconnect ones as they wish, and clear this data for their profiles. This is also where Instagram and Facebook users can download what information Meta has on their accounts. This is located in the Settings menu for both the Instagram and Facebook apps and on the latter’s spin-off chat app, Messenger.
This data, as The Verge points out, is typically used to serve personalized ads to profiles based on the information the app collects about a user, both on that site and across the web. Meta has been rolling out updates to these features, first by redesigning the Accounts Center hub earlier this year, allowing users to learn why they’re seeing certain ads, and launching a new ad distribution system, The Verge explains.
Meta has faced substantial criticism over the years regarding how it tracks user data, allowing certain users to see certain ads, and how all of these elements have been used for allegedly malicious purposes. Further, legislation in the E.U. has spurred closer inspection of Meta’s practices — and led to the company getting slapped with several fines.
In addition to the data tracking block option, users can not only clear their Instagram data, they can also transfer it. The updated Transfer Your Information option on Instagram will let people move their photos and videos to other platforms, allowing them to easily making a photo book on a third-party service or maybe move to another social media platform entirely.
Meta did not disclose whether these features will come to its other services, like WhatsApp or Threads. Though, neither app has any ads (at the moment).
Image credits: Meta