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Facebook To Introduce “Clear History” Privacy Tool In Coming Months


As a way to redeem the trust of its users, the social media giants Facebook is doing everything within their power to provide a safer and a more secure community where every member can be free to share their data with ease without any third party user involved. Facebook is developing a feature in response to an outcry about data collection, and privacy on its sites. Earlier last month, the company launched Bulk App Removal Tool to help Clean Up Your Privacy Settings.  As reported yesterday, Facebook Inc. is going to let users see which websites and apps that shared their social network data on.

Before taking the stage at Facebook’s F8 conference, CEO Mark Zuckerberg made an announcement ahead of time: the social network is adding a new feature called Clear History. It will be introduced alongside Facebook’s existing options for privacy control. “In your web browser, you have a simple way to clear your cookies and history. The idea is a lot of sites need cookies to work, but you should still be able to flush your history whenever you want,” Zuckerberg wrote. “We’re building a version of this for Facebook too. It will be a simple control to clear your browsing history on Facebook — what you’ve clicked on, websites you’ve visited, and so on.”

As Facebook continues to face criticism from users over how much data it collects, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on his Facebook page hours ahead of the company’s annual developer conference that Facebook is introducing a “clear history” tool that will allow users to clear their browsing history on Facebook.

“After going through our systems, this is an example of the kind of control we think you should have. It’s something privacy advocates have been asking for,” Zuckerberg wrote. “One thing I learned from my experience testifying in Congress is that I didn’t have clear enough answers to some of the questions about data. We’re working to make sure these controls are clear, and we will have more to come soon.”

In another blog post, Facebook VP and chief privacy officer Erin Egan said that the clear history tool will “enable you to see the websites and apps that send us information when you use them, delete this information from your account, and turn off our ability to store it associated with your account going forward.” It’s unclear how Facebook defines “associated with your account.”

The first application of Clear History is directly tied to the Cambridge Analytica scandal. “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.” Facebook has announced numerous steps in recent weeks — directed at both everyday users and developers — meant to prevent third parties from gleaning an abundance of personal data from unknowing users.

The announcement comes less than a month after Zuckerberg testified in front of Congress, where some senators and representatives urged him to do a better job of alerting users what information Facebook stores on them and for how long.

Zuckerberg didn’t share much additional information on the tool during his opening keynote at Facebook’s F8 conference today, but said he believed “your Facebook won’t be quite as good as it relearns your preferences” once a user enables the “clear history” tool. He said users may have to re-login to websites they had previously logged into — a step that anyone who has cleared cookies is familiar with.

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