After about a year, Facebook is finally keeping true to its promise and rolling out an “Off Facebook Activity” tool to help users clear their history on the social media platform. The new tool is rolling out in 3 countries – Ireland, South Korea, and Spain, with a worldwide rollout to follow in the coming months.
The new tool was first announced during the Cambridge Anlaytica issue to give users a sense of trust in the social media platform. But unlike many users had expected, the option doesn’t really delete their Facebook history.
The Clear History option can be found in the new “Off-Facebook Activity” section. The Off-Facebook Activity section shows you the apps and websites that are tracking your activity and sending reports back to Facebook for ad targeting purposes.
When a user visits a website, they most likely get to see the ads of that website on their Facebook or Instagram feed. This is because Facebook monitors where its users visit on the web to help them target you with the proper ads. But with the new Clear History option, users can remove this information from their Facebook account. This gives them more control over the data shared between Facebook and 3rd party sites.
Users also get an option to opt out of “Off-Facebook Activity” tracking finally, or bar some certain websites/apps from sending your browsing activity to Facebook.
We expect this could have some impact on our business, but we believe giving people control over their data is more important.Facebook said in a blog post.
This tool took quite a while to develop as it had to re-engineer its platform to change how it processed its data. Normally, Facebook users’ data are stored in multiple datasets, and these are stored by date and time. So, this complexities meant that it has to build a new system that stored data user by user. Hence the delay.
Nevertheless, this is a good step by the company to reassure users about its dedication to their privacy protection. The company notes that it will be building similar tools in the future to continue, with Clear History the beginning.
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