Facebook Plans on Launching “Clear History” Feature this Year

Person on tablet.

Person on tablet.

In 2018 Facebook spent a lot of time caught up in different privacy scandals. The pressure for Facebook privacy grew so great that CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that they had a “clear history” option for Facebook accounts during his F8 keynote address. Unfortunately, a clear history button didn’t exist at that time and now, almost a year later, it still doesn’t exist.

Scoring Points

Shortly after Cambridge Analytica obtained personal information on millions of people from Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg found himself deep in the doubt of the people. Which is why by May of 2018, Facebook spontaneously announced a new feature.

“Once we roll out this update, you’ll be able to see information about the apps and websites you’ve interacted with, and you’ll be able to clear this information from your account,” Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post in May “You’ll even be able to turn off having this information stored with your account.”

Zuckerberg also said that the feature would “be a simple control to clear your browsing history on Facebook — what you’ve clicked on, websites you’ve visited, and so on.” But announcing the feature at the F8 keynote was more about scoring brownie points from the public than actually providing people the ability to clear their history. [1]

“If you watch the presentation, we really had nothing to show anyone,” said one person, who was close to F8. “Mark just wanted to score some points.”

New Promises

However, the clear history feature is back on. Facebook CFO David Wehner announced to the public on February 26th that they planned on releasing the feature later this year. “Broadly, [clear history is] going to give us some headwinds in terms of being able to target as effectively as before,” Wehner said at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference of 2019. [2]

When will Facebook actually release the feature? It’s still up in the air. But at least it’s a better-designed idea than it was in 2018.


Notes:

  1. ^Buzzfeednews.com. (2019). [online] Available at: https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ryanmac/facebook-privacy-optics-clear-history-zuckerberg. (go back↩)
  2. ^Facebook CFO David Wehner https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/26/facebook-clear-history-coming-in-2019-could-hurt-ad-targeting-wehner.html (go back↩)

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