Technology 3 min read

Facebook is set to Roll Out its "Clear History" Privacy Tool

Image courtesy of Shutterstuck

Image courtesy of Shutterstuck

Over a year ago, Facebook‘s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, announced at the company’s annual developer’s conference that they would be releasing a new privacy tool.

It was the “Clear History” feature that would let users break the connection between their web browsing history and their Facebook account.

After months of delays, the feature is finally set to roll out in South Korea, Ireland, and Spain, with other countries to follow in the coming months.

In the wake of Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook had to figure out a way to give users more control over their privacy. That’s what the Clear History tool does, although at the expense of advertisers’ targeting capabilities.

So, how does the new tool work?

How Facebook’s “Clear History” Privacy Tool Works

Facebook privacy tool
Image Credit: The Verge

Facebook is adding the new tool as part of a new section of its service called “Off-Facebook.

Upon opening, you’ll see the websites, including apps that are tracking your activities and sending reports back to Facebook for ad targeting. You’ll be able to block them too.

Users simply have to tap the “Clear History” icon to prevent Facebook from having access to that information.

While you can disconnect all off-Facebook browsing data, the feature comes with another option of disconnecting specific websites or apps. Users can also block companies from reporting their tracking data back to the social media giant in the future.

When using the Clear History tool, you could come across unfamiliar apps or websites. According to Facebook, this is not out of the ordinary.

“For example, a website you didn’t visit could show up because a friend looked it up on your phone,” the company said. “Or because you share a home computer with your partner and kids.”

Facebook initially intended to launch the Clear History tool last year. However, the project had experienced a couple of unexpected delays.

The social media company wrote in a blog post:

“Since Off-Facebook Activity is a new kind of tool, there was no template for us to follow. Our engineering teams redesigned our systems and built a new way for them to process information. We also conducted months of research to get input from people, privacy advocates, policymakers, advertisers and industry groups. We made important changes in response to what we learned.”

As for why “Clear History” is rolling out slowly, the company explains that it’s to ensure that the privacy tool is working reliably for everyone.

Read More: Facebook Hired Contractors to Transcribe Audio Clips of Users

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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