Recently, in my Facebook search bar I've noticed it shows "recent searches" that I didn't search on Facebook. For instance, I looked at Paul Graham and Scott Adams' Twitter feeds. This showed up in my Facebook search history:

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I've found searches there from

  1. Gmail (an email draft I made on my phone)
  2. LinkedIn (pages I visited, not searches)
  3. Twitter (Also direct page visits)

Are these sites selling Facebook data?

I've got a decently restricted setup:

  1. iOS, no Facebook app or Messenger. (However, Facebook login is enabled, with access to my calendar.)
  2. I browse on Firefox with NoScript, uMatrix and uBlock origin. I have most things disabled on uMatrix.

How are they doing it, and is there anything further I can do?

Or is it data sales through data gathered by first party scripts?

I'm grateful Facebook is showing this search history from elsewhere so I can see their data sources.

  • I can confirm that I've experienced the EXACT same phenomenon for at least a few months. The Facebook app is somehow extracting search histories and capturing it as their own. I've tried to research this but haven't found precisely similar stories online. The closest thing was this from 2014 abine.com/blog/2014/facebook-tracking-browsing It is very disconcerting. Thank you for posting this! – motorbikematt Jan 7 '17 at 19:22

I don't think what you say is exactly what is happening here.

Go to your activity log and see the date of these searches to ensure they match with your browser history for those other searches.

https://www.facebook.com/YOURUSERNAME/allactivity?privacy_source=activity_log&log_filter=search

There is no way Facebook can extract these searches on its own.

Also check your browser extensions to see if there aren't any extensions calling Facebook search.

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