Facebook’s long awaited “clear history” tool is finally rolling out. It is now called “Off-Facebook Activity” and is available today in Ireland, South Korea and Spain.
Originally announced by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg during F8 in 2019, the tool will allow users to see and control the date that other applications and websites share with Facebook.
Today, “Off-Facebook Activity” is rolling out to Ireland, South Korea and Spain for a large-scale test before it would eventually be made available globally over the coming months.
Chief product officer, policy Erin Egan and director of product management David Baser gave an example on how third-party websites share data with Facebook through the Facebook Pixel or Facebook login:
“Imagine a clothing website wants to show ads to people who are interested in a new style of shoes. They can send Facebook information saying someone on a particular device looked at those shoes. If that device information matches someone’s Facebook account, we can show ads about those shoes to that person.”
With the new tool, users can now control this information and halt any future sharing. Their identifying information is then removed from the data sent to the social network by apps and websites, rendering targeting those users near impossible on Facebook, Instagram or Messenger.
Egan and Baser acknowledged that “this could have some impact on Facebook’s business, but we believe giving people control over their data is more important.”
Check out the tool here.