Friday, June 2, 2023

Facebook knows you way more than you think!

We all know that Facebook collects data on all of us. They manage to do that with different ways including via 3rd-party web browser cookies; an explanation of 3rd-party cookies goes beyond the scope of this blog but you can read about it here if you are interested to know more. While 3rd-party cookies are slowly phased out, the alternative i.e. FLoC proposed by Google, as per many privacy advocates, is even worse ... so for now, just assume Facebook and other platforms will always have a way to spy on you.

While there are ways to restrict what Facebook collects (follow steps at end of this blog), there is not a whole lot you can do to make them stop other than just deleting your Facebook account. The reason is, Facebook generates substantially all of its revenue by selling ads, so they have to monitor your online activity to slap you with targeted ads and curated content based on your web browsing behavior i.e., the sites you visit, shop, like etc. At the end of the day, Facebook knowing that I have T-Mobile wireless, or shop at Amazon or browse Reddit etc, is not a big deal for me, I just don't care. However, when I looked at what websites are sharing with Facebook, specifically, financial institution that I do business with, I was very concerned. My financial institution (will not mention their name here) shared with Facebook something related to my activity which is scarry, see below ...

It is unclear to me what they shared since I don't have the details other than Facebook telling me they did. I have the habit of clearing all cookies on banking and financial websites frequently, so unfortunately, I can no longer access this specific cookie in my browser to see the content of what all was shared with Facebook! However, based on the name of activity shared i.e., "COMPLETE_REGISTRATION", I can only assume it is not something I would like them to share, whatever it is. If it was just "PAGE_VIEW" like all other sites, I would be ok with it even then, why would Facebook need to know what bank website I visit? The only thing I remember is opening a new account, transferring money on those 2 days at that exact time mentioned which caused my concern. Why on earth Facebook needs this information? Just to give some perspective, this is just one specific instance of a website I have discussed above, there could be crap ton of them we visit every day sharing all kinds of stuff w/ Facebook 😮.  

Finally, if you got this far, you could follow the steps below to tell Facebook to quit doing this, at least for now, until they figure out new ways of profiting on you 😃

Update: (May 22, 2024): Since many page links and interfaces have changed since this original post back in June 2022, I updated the details below as of today. 

While logged in Facebook ...

  1. Navigate to
  2. Click "Manage future activity"
  3. Click on "Disconnect future activity.” 

This will also clear all the stored activity, so you don't need to clear that. For visual reference, The screenshots for steps 2 and 3 are below. 

Android Battery Drain


If your android phone runs out of battery sooner than you expected, you are not alone. The culprits are power hungry, and poorly designed smartphone apps you may have installed – trust me, there are lot of them including popular apps many of us use on a daily basis. To give an example, “Withings Health Mate” app that I use tracks weight from Withings Digital Scale and for some reason it adds a background task to sync the weight from the scale to cloud continually. This is insane ... why on earth anyone needs their weight to continually sync to cloud? A better design would be to sync to cloud whenever you open the app to check your weight history; there is absolutely no need to sync body weight continually especially it involves using your precious battery power. To make matters worse, some of them go totally nuts and do some crazy stuff. See my findings on fitbit at the link

Anyways, here is the list of top 10 apps that drain battery a lot. 

  1. Fitbit
  2. Uber
  3. Skype
  4. Facebook
  5. Airbnb
  6. Instagram
  7. Tinder
  8. Bumble
  9. Snapchat
  10. WhatsApp

In my opinion, any phone can and should last a full day with heavy usage and two days on normal usage without having charge but if you have one or more of these installed, it is highly unlikely your phone battery will last all day long.


The good news is, there is a way to limit the use of battery and extend your phones ability to last a whole day or two. For example, my phone battery lasts 2 full days on regular use. If you happened to run one of these apps above, just follow the video at link below to adjust the settings and enjoy longer battery charge!

Note: Some apps may not function properly while running in the background with this change, but most apps should work just fine. If you have any of them installed, just open each of them once so they will be listed on the recent list so you can easily find them, otherwise just search all the installed apps to find them to change the setting.

Finally, if you rarely use any of these power hogs, just uninstall them and install it back when you find the need to use. Another option is to enable “Google Play Instant” to run apps w/ out installing (note: Not all apps support this function). Go to your Google Play Store app Settings/General/Google Play Instant and enable it as shown in the screenshot.