Facebook Lets Users Delete History As It Scrambles to Fix Data Abuse Scandal

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the Clear History tool ahead of the company’s annual F8 conference Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has unveiled a new Clear History tool that allows people to easily wipe their data from the social network. 
In a post to Facebook ahead of the company’s annual F8 developer conference, Mr Zuckerberg gave details about the new privacy control and referenced the recent data scandal that prompted the rolling out of the feature. 

Facebook Lets Users Delete History As It Scrambles to Fix Data Abuse Scandal

“This is an example of the kind of control we think you should have. 

It’s something privacy advocates have been asking for – and we will work with them to make sure we get it right,” Mr Zuckerberg said. 
“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.”

Mr Zuckerberg appeared before Congress last month to face questions about his company’s treatment of users’ data, which allowed the UK data firm Cambridge Analytica to harvest personal information of 87 million people for the purpose of political profiling.

This information was used to target voters in the build up to the 2016 US elections, as well as the UK’s EU referendum of the same year.

The new tool should theoretically give users better control of the data that Facebook stores on its servers about them. Similar to a clear cookies and history tool used by web browsers, Facebook’s feature will allow its users to conveniently flush their history from its systems.

“We’re starting with something a lot of people have asked about recently: the information we see from websites and apps that use Facebook’s ads and analytic tools,” Mr Zuckerberg said in his Facebook post.

“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.”

The tool will inevitably damage Facebook’s core business model of using people’s personal data to target online ads at them, and Mr Zuckerberg pointed out that users would not get a complete experience if they make full use of it.

“To be clear, when you clear your cookies in your browser, it can make parts of your experience worse,” Mr Zuckerberg said.

“You may have to sign back in to every website, and you may have to reconfigure things. The same will be true here. Your Facebook won’t be as good while it relearns your preferences.”

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