Meta’s Facebook, has recently introduced a new feature called “Link History,” a repository logging all links clicked within its mobile app. While users can opt-out, this setting is turned on by default, aiming to provide a consolidated record of browsing activity. Yet, beneath the surface, it’s a strategic manoeuvre to bolster data collection for targeted advertising.
Pitched as a convenient tool for users to store their browsing history, Meta emphasizes its utility. However, the reality is that this serves as another means to monitor user behaviour. Prompting users to consent to this tracking method through pop-ups, Meta ensures it can leverage this data to enhance targeted ads across its platforms.
Moreover, Meta assures the deletion of accumulated Link History within 90 days upon disabling the setting. Despite this semblance of privacy control, the introduction of Link History raises more queries than it resolves. While this presents a step toward transparency regarding users’ link-clicking data, it merely formalizes a practice Meta has quietly executed for years.
This move is Meta’s attempt to navigate the evolving privacy landscape amid increasing regulatory scrutiny and tighter privacy controls by major tech players like Apple and Google. Although framed as a user-centric feature, it brings into question the depths of privacy it genuinely offers.
Meta’s Link History may seem like a step toward privacy enhancement, but it ultimately falls short of providing substantial control or transparency over users’ data collection practices. As the feature gradually rolls out globally, users grapple with the implications of yet another layer of data surveillance within their social media experience.