The Cambridge Analytica controversy shed a harsh light on Facebook’s data collection, prompting CEO Mark Zuckerberg to announce a myriad of privacy features on their way to the platform. Among these new options is a means to delete your own history, which will finally be arriving sometime later this year.
Facebook stores every single action a user makes, from the log-in phase to clicking on external advertisements to the personal messages sent back and forth. Even your real-time location isn’t safe should you boot the application up. This is what made Cambridge Analytica’s access to the data all the more troublesome, as companies can learn a great deal about an individual through one single source.
During March, 2018, Facebook introduced the ability for users to request their own data from within the settings, however users were unable to do anything with their newly downloaded information apart from marvel at just how much the social network sucks up. Fortunately, this is all about to change as Facebook will allow users to ‘clear history’ and eventually implement a tickbox option to prevent the site from storing data in the future.
Zuckerberg explained last year that a new version of Facebook was being built to introduce the simple control to allow users to delete their history. It seems as though it will work much in the same way as browsers handle the function, but it will require users to re-sign into every device housing their account once activated.
Development of the privacy features seems to be going well, as chief financial officer David Wehner hinted that they are nearing finalisation. “Later this year, we’ll be launching clear history which will also affect our ability to do third-party targeting for those who would clear history,” said Wehner. “So I think broadly, it’s going to give us some headwinds in terms of being able to target as effectively as before.”
It remains to be seen how this will affect Facebook’s ad revenue, or whether the social network has found a workaround in its effort to climb out of its continual PR nightmare.
KitGuru Says: It is shocking that this still isn’t an option, but it’s good to see Facebook bucking its ideas up. Do you think you’ll be deleting your history when the feature drops?