If you haven’t heard, Facebook has been in the middle of a serious privacy scandal for months. (Here’s a CNBC article that outlines exactly when went down in case you live under a rock.) This led to a meeting between founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and the United States Congress last month. And now more than ever, consumers are worried about their data and how Facebook is handling it. Fortunately, it looks like the company might have something to ease consumer’s stress.
As announced today at the social network’s F8 developers conference, Facebook will release a “Clear History” feature in the future. Notably, the company says the feature “will take a few months to build,” but Erin Egan, VP and Chief Privacy Officer at Facebook, gives a bit of insight into what the feature will do in a press release.
Today, we’re announcing plans to build Clear History. This feature will enable you to see the websites and apps that send us information when you use them, delete this information from your account, and turn off our ability to store it associated with your account going forward. Apps and websites that use features such as the Like button or Facebook Analytics send us information to make their content and ads better. We also use this information to make your experience on Facebook better.
If you clear your history or use the new setting, we’ll remove identifying information so a history of the websites and apps you’ve used won’t be associated with your account. We’ll still provide apps and websites with aggregated analytics – for example, we can build reports when we’re sent this information so we can tell developer if their apps are more popular with men or women in a certain age group. We can do this without storing the information in a way that’s associated with your account, and as always, we don’t tell advertisers who you are.
For now, it seems the feature will be limited to exactly how much personal information you can remove from Facebook. We’ll need to wait until it actually comes out to tell the whole story.