How to kick out companies that access your Facebook profile

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Facebook Profile
You might be amazed how many companies you allow to read your complete Facebook profile.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Facebook now lists in one place all the companies that you’ve given access to your profile info. This makes deleting this access a snap, right from your iPhone or iPad.

You may have taken a silly Facebook quiz to find out which droid from Star Wars you most resemble. Just by doing so, you allowed the company that made up the quiz entry to your full profile info. And even if that was a decade ago, they still have access today.

Or many people use Facebook Connect to log onto websites so they don’t have to create new accounts. Again, this gives that site perpetual permission to read the complete Facebook profile.

And Facebook knows quite a bit about you. Not just your relationship status, but also your political leanings, your interests, and much more. All this info is completely available any company you’ve give access to your profile, even if you don’t remember doing so.

Remove access to your Facebook profile

Bowing to pressure in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook promised recently “We already show people what apps their accounts are connected to and control what data they’ve permitted those apps to use. Going forward, we’re going to make these choices more prominent and easier to manage.”

The list of apps that are connected your profile isn’t exactly what many people would call prominent, but it’s available with six or seven taps. 

In the iPhone app, tap the “hamburger” icon in the bottom right on the screen, scroll down to Settings & Privacy, and select Account Settings. Next, tap on Apps, then on Logged in with Facebook. This displays the complete list. (Long-time Facebook users might be startled by just how many of them there are.)  

facebook profile
All posts made by a company can be deleted too.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Preventing one of these companies or apps from accessing your Facebook profile is as simple as selecting the button next to the name, then tapping the Remove button.

There is no “delete all” button, possibly because Facebook is afraid the good will be accidentally thrown out with the bad. 

As part of the removal process, Facebook gives you the option to “delete all posts, photos and videos on Facebook these apps and websites may have published on your behalf.”

Blocking future access

Just be aware that removing access to your Facebook profile now doesn’t delete any of your personal details these companies have already downloaded. It just prevents them from gathering any more.

So the next time you start to take a quiz asking which Kardashian would be your frenemy, or consider using Facebook Connect instead of entering your email address and a password, remember that you’re granting some company access to tons of information about you in perpetuity.