After years of promises, Facebook has finally rolled out its “Clear History” feature that allows users to control the information Facebook gathers from activity around the web. The tool, which has been rebranded as “Off-Facebook Activity,” will display a summary of third-party websites that share your data with Facebook and give you the option to opt out of future activity tracking.
“We won’t know which websites you visited or what you did there, and we won’t use any of the data you disconnect to target ads to you on Facebook, Instagram or Messenger,” Facebook said in a blog post. “We expect this could have some impact on our business, but we believe giving people control over their data is more important.”
However, there’s one key distinction: Facebook won’t actually delete the data it gathers about you. Instead, the company says, it will simply “disassociate” the info from your account. In other words, your anonymized data will still be pooled by Facebook with the other aggregated info it gathers, and it will remain on the company’s servers.
Currently, the tool is available in Ireland, South Korea and Spain. It should be rolled out to all users over the coming months.
Thankfully, opting out of Facebook’s data collection means that companies won’t be able to target creepy ads at you. But the downside is that, no matter what, Facebook still has all your info to itself.
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