Facebook’s Clear History feature aimed at helping protect user privacy

facebook announces new clear history feature

Ahead of Facebook’s F8 developer conference, the company announced its new tool to help protect user privacy. A feature called Clear History will help give people more information and control over the data Facebook collects from other websites and apps.

The feature is in response to feedback the company has received over the past several weeks. Facebook expressed that Clear History is its first step in proving that it’s truly attempting to release better ways to protect its user’s privacy.

The new feature is built similarly to the way users can clear cookies and history within their web browser. Now, users will be able to do the same on Facebook with a simple control that allows you to clear your browsing history on the social media platform specifically.

With Clear History, you will be able to see information about the apps and websites that specifically use Facebook’s ads and analytics tools. This will allow you to not only delete the information from your account but also turn off the ability to link this information back to your profile directly. This includes what you’ve clicked on and different websites you’ve visited while using Facebook.

In a press release, Erin Egan, Facebook’s vice president and chief privacy officer, explained it will still provide the websites and apps with aggregated analytics. This includes reports the company builds to send to developers in order to inform them of whether their apps are more popular with women or men in a particular age group. But it will do this in a way that doesn’t store information directly associated with your account, and advertisers won’t know who you are.

While Clear History will give you a more in-depth look at who is interacting with your information, it could also make your experience worse. CEO Mark Zuckerberg took to his own Facebook page to explain that the feature has the same effect as clearing cookies on your web browser.

By clearing your history on your Facebook page, it may make your experience less enjoyable — even in minor ways. For instance, you might have to sign back in each time you log into your account and it will also have to relearn your preferences.

The new feature will take a few months to build, so it won’t be available to use any time soon. While Facebook plans on creating a feature that allows users to remove identifying information from their accounts, Facebook also wants to find a way that allows it access to it in the event that it’s needed for security purposes.


The numbers don’t lie: Facebook is faltering. So what will eventually replace it?

Facebook is faltering, and the data prove it. User growth is slowing, employee outlooks are dipping, and young people are looking elsewhere. But for Facebook to fail, an alternative must arise. Who will it be?
Social Media

Kids can now initiate a friend request on Messenger Kids by using a password

Facebook's messaging app for the under-13 crowd required parents, not kids, to initiate the process of adding a friend. Now kids can start the process by using a unique passphrase -- a feature that still requires parental approval.
Social Media

Facebook’s less cluttered friend list feeds are no more

Facebook friend feeds created a more curated news feed -- but not anymore. Facebook discontinued the feature, saying it wasn't widely used. The move will help the network focus on improving the news feed, the company says.
Social Media

Facebook wants to help you find a mentor with its latest Groups feature

Facebook is designed for connecting to other people -- so why not mentors? Today, Facebook launched a program inside Groups that allows for two users to go through a mentorship program together.

Apple AR glasses will launch in 2020, says respected industry analyst

Apple AR glasses may be closer to reality than we thought. Here is everything we know so far about the augmented reality system, including the rumored specifications of Apple's Project Mirrorshades.

Here’s how to safely download ‘Fortnite: Battle Royale’ on an Android device

'Fortnite: Battle Royale' is one of the biggest games in the world right now, and it's finally on Android, even if getting set up is a bit long-winded. Here's how to play 'Fortnite: Battle Royale' on an Android device.

No, blue light from your cell phone won’t make you blind

A new study from the University of Toledo reveals the process by which blue light impacts the photoreceptors in our eyes and leads to macular degeneration, an incurable eye disease that causes blindness later in life. The fact that blue…

T-Mobile attempts to reinvent customer service with its new ‘Team of Experts’

In an attempt to reinvent how it approaches customer care, T-Mobile announced its Team of Experts. Whenever a customer contacts T-Mobile, they're given direct access to the same team members each time without being put on hold or…

Apple considers making its own health-monitoring processors

Apple could be looking at making its own dedicated health tracking processors. These chips are dedicated to health-monitoring features on wearables, and could mean more health tracking features on the next Apple Watch.
Social Media

How to use Adobe Spark Post to spice up your social media images

Images are proven to get more likes than plain text -- but only if those images are good. Adobe Spark post is an AI-powered design program for non-designers. Here's how to use it to take your social media feeds to the next level.

Oppo F9 smartphone is a budget beauty with a teeny-tiny notch

Oppo has just unveiled the budget Oppo F9 with decidedly budget specs wrapped in an impressively attractive body with a gradient finish and a teeny tiny-notch on the nearly all-screen front. But it doesn't seem to be coming to the U.S. or…
Home Theater

Everything you need to know about Google’s Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra

Google's Chromecast plugs into your TV's HDMI port, allowing you to stream content from your tablet, laptop, or smartphone directly to your TV. Here's what you need to know about all iterations, including the 4K-ready Chromecast Ultra.

Google One subscriptions offer more cloud storage for low prices, other perks

Can't get enough storage on Google Drive, Photos, or Gmail? Google One is the new way to boost your cloud storage. But it's not just about more space -- Google One comes with a loads of benefits.
Product Review

The gorgeous Oppo Find X plays hard to get, but is it worth the chase?

Is the Oppo Find X the most beautiful smartphone we’ve ever seen? We think it’s right up there, but because it’s an import-only phone, you’ll have to put in some effort to get one. Is it worth going the extra mile?