About a year ago, Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, stood in front of the company’s annual developer’s conference and announced that the social media service will allow users to delete their history. The move is designed to help Facebook users manage the information they have put out there and it was considered a good decision. Facebook then started to work on the modalities of making it happen and after months of delays, the feature will finally go live.
As a matter of fact, it has started to roll out in a number of countries such as Ireland, South Korea, and Spain. Facebook has also said that the rollout for other countries will begin as soon as possible. The Clear History tool comes in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, where Facebook was accused of doing little to prevent the misuse of user data by a third-party company.
The company said on the aftermath of the scandal that it was going to work on new privacy strategies in an effort to restore user confidence on the platform. Although Mark Zuckerberg has already announced a raft of measures ever since, the Clear History feature is definitely a popular one. Facebook believes that the new tool will actually give users more control over their browsing history. The social media platform also feels that the feature will prioritize the privacy of users as opposed to the needs of advertisers on the platform.
As soon as the tool rolls out in your country, you will be able to find it under a new section that Facebook is calling “Off-Facebook Activity.” When you open this section, you will get the chance to view all the apps that are tracking your activity and sending data back to Facebook for the purpose of ad targeting. If you decide to go ahead and “Clear History,” all these apps and the data they have gathered about you will be removed.
The new feature will also give you the chance to block specific apps that you don’t want tracking your online activity in the future. Facebook said that it doesn’t want to rush the rollout in order to make sure the feature “works for everyone.” The social media platform also warned users that they will see apps and sites in their account activities that don’t look familiar at all. For example, Facebook says that if a friend looked up something using your phone, it will show up in your activity log even though you may not know about it.
The original plan was to roll out the new feature last year. However, due to a number of delays, this plan didn’t materialize. The company said in a blog post that, since the new feature is actually something totally new, there was a lot of work needed to make it a reality. Facebook also noted that it did “months of research” to get the views of its users. Privacy advocates, policymakers, and advertisers were also involved in the development of the new feature.