This article was published on May 2, 2018

Facebook is finally giving users the option to clear their history

Facebook is finally giving users the option to clear their history

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, today announced the site would introduce a feature which will grant users a measure of control over their data — specifically, giving them control over how much information from their history is shared without third-party apps.

The feature, appropriately named “Clear History,” will flush your browsing history on Facebook, including which websites you’ve visited from Facebook and what ads you’ve clicked on.

First announced at Facebook’s F8 conference this afternoon, the app is an obvious response to the backlash Facebook’s gotten from just about everyone following the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Zuckerberg himself said in a post today that he gave a rather foggy response to Congressional interrogation over just how much information Facebook’s users were able to control their own data.

Zuckerberg said in the same post this feature is an attempt to redress that issue:

Once we roll out this update, you’ll be able to see information about the apps and websites you’ve interacted with, and you’ll be able to clear this information from your account. You’ll even be able to turn off having this information stored with your account.

Of course, Facebook won’t completely stop collecting data on you, even if you do use this option. According to Erin Egan, FB’s chief privacy officer:

We’ll still provide apps and websites with aggregated analytics – for example, we can build reports when we’re sent this information so we can tell developer if their apps are more popular with men or women in a certain age group. We can do this without storing the information in a way that’s associated with your account, and as always, we don’t tell advertisers who you are.

Zuckerberg also has temerity to say Facebook will be a little less personal for you without the use of cookies. Under the circumstances, Mark, I think that’s a trade-off some users are willing to accept.

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