Facebook might be free for anyone to use, but that doesn’t mean we don’t pay for the privilege. In order to make money, the platform openly relies on acquiring as much user data as possible to target advertising. That’s why the company published a blog post this week reassuring advertisers that the site’s new privacy feature, Clear History, won’t be a deal breaker.
This feature will allow users to erase their browsing history around the web and prevent that information from living on Facebook’s servers. It will also let users see which websites are tracking them. This is unequivocally a good thing for people, who now have more control of their own info. However, the company’s advertisers are now rattled that they can no longer observe us everywhere.
“When people are informed about how their information is used, it improves the way they feel about ads and the businesses they interact with online,” Facebook wrote in its post. “We believe that offering people greater transparency and control will ultimately have a positive, long-term effect on businesses using Facebook.”
It’s pretty telling that Facebook is worried its advertising policies can’t coexist with strong user privacy — and they’re right to be concerned. For too long, the social media giant has gotten away with excessively scraping our data. Thankfully, more people are becoming aware of the problems this poses, and will hopefully opt to keep their browsing histories out of Facebook’s hands.
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