Facebook says ‘Clear History’ privacy tool will launch later this year

Brittany A. Roston - Feb 26, 2019, 6:51 pm CDT
Facebook says ‘Clear History’ privacy tool will launch later this year

Nearly a year ago, Facebook vowed to launch a new feature called Clear History. With this, the company claimed, users would be able to wipe the data Facebook had collected about them from third-party websites and apps. The feature was described as similar to the way users can clear their browser history, but nearly a year has passed without its arrival. Following a concerning report last week, Facebook has announced that Clear History will launch this year.

The Clear History tool was announced by company CEO Mark Zuckerberg during Facebook’s F8 event in 2018, but a report from Buzzfeed last week claimed it was, first and foremost, a reactionary move made in light of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Sources speaking to the publication alleged Clear History didn’t actually exist when it was revealed.

The claims seemingly reveal why Facebook hasn’t released the tool despite nearly a year passing since its announcement. Now, only a week after the report was published, Facebook CFO David Wehner has stated that Clear History will be available later this year. The claim was made at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference 2019.

The tool won’t merely purge the data Facebook received from third-party apps and websites, according to the company, but also allow the users to first view the information that was collected. As well, the company had claimed that users would be able to ‘turn off’ the storage of this information in their Facebook accounts.

According to Wehner, the Clear History feature will make it harder for the company to target advertisements ‘as effectively as before,’ assuming the user deletes the collected third-party information. It’s yet to be seen whether the tool Facebook launches offers the features that were promised, but it should be available some time later this year.

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