Technology

Facebook launches the much-awaited "clear history" tool

But the new feature isn't exactly what it sounds like

Facebook launches clear history tool
  • The “clear history” tool allows users to disconnect data from individual accounts, but this information won’t be completely deleted from Facebook’s servers
  • The new feature will be first available to Ireland, Spain, and South Korea and might be released worldwide in the coming months
  • The new feature has a direct impact on Facebook’s advertising products 

The word “privacy” continues to be a challenge for Facebook, and the company is once again attempting to reassure users that it can comply with everything that the word entails. A year after the feature’s first announcement, the much-awaited “clear history” tool was finally released, according to The Guardian.

The new feature was presented as a way to reduce the damage caused to Facebook’s brand after all the scandals involving the inappropriate use of users’ data by the company. Even with the protection of users’ data at the center of the discussion, the feature does not allow the deletion of all the information from Facebook’s servers, the new feature will disconnect the data from the individual user accounts. 

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This is the first time that a Facebook feature gives the user a way to control how the platform uses and learns with their navigation behavior. In an interview with The Guardian, Stephanie Max, Facebook’s Product Manager, said that “people were able to mentally connect that with how their browser controls work, where they can clear their history. We clearly state that … the information isn’t connected to your account.”

Less information about navigation behavior also means reducing the chance of offering it to companies, affecting the use of efficient ads. Even with such an effort that shows the company worries about privacy solutions, Facebook is not ready to give up on a significant share of advertising investments either. 

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That’s the main reason why Facebook is not planning to heavily promote the “clear history” tool, according to The Guardian, and users cannot expect a pop-up or any official announcement on the platform about the feature as soon as it is available to all countries. 

According to Facebook, the new feature will be first available to Ireland, Spain, and South Korea and might be released worldwide in the next months.