Facebook gives users more control over data that the network gets from other websites and apps. As the US company said, users should be able to look in the future, who shared information about their activities outside of Facebook. You can remove this information from your Facebook account or prevent such data from being linked to your account in the future.

Currently, commercial platforms and apps, when viewed by people with a Facebook account, can send details about this visit to Facebook. This makes it possible to present these users extremely targeted ads tailored to their needs on Facebook - such as products they have been looking for elsewhere.

Users are provided with a summary of their information provided by other apps and websites, the company said. The instrument creates "more transparency and control on Facebook".

Facebook expects influence on advertising business

However, the business model of Facebook is based on the collection and commercial use of the personal data of its users. The use of advertisements of other companies tailored to the individual user is of central importance. Facebook manager Stephanie Max, responsible for the development of the new instrument, acknowledged that it is likely to have "some impact on our business". "But we think it's more important to give people control over their data," she said.

If a user completely or partially blocks the linking of data collected by other companies with their Facebook account, this information will continue to be transmitted to Facebook, but in anonymous form, as Max explained. The user from whom the data originated can then no longer be identified. Facebook could use the information for the production of general statistics, explained Max.

The company wants to introduce the new function for deleting this data from the individual Facebook accounts, first as a test in Ireland, Spain and South Korea. In the coming months, it will then be made available worldwide.

Reaction to privacy scandal

The group was shaken by several privacy scandals last year. Among other things, it came out that the data of about 87 million users had landed at the data analysis company Cambridge Analytica. The company later worked for, among others, the campaign team of US President Donald Trump.

The US consumer protection agency FTC imposed a $ 5 billion (€ 4.5 billion) fine on Facebook last month over privacy violations. The agreement of the group with the authority also provides that Facebook incorporates new functions in its services, which give the users more control over the handling of their data.