Facebook now lets users delete activity data it collects from other sites

Facebook’s quarterly revenue. Source the company

Facebook’s quarterly revenue. Source the company

Facebook's clear history tool gives you more control over your data, but there's a catch Facebook says that you can use the "clear history" tool to check a summary of this data. Facebook is under fire again, accused of sharing private messages and other user information with other companies.

This data is collected by not only tracking their activity on all Facebook apps/services but also gathering web activity data from third-party apps, websites they visit across the internet. Facebook says businesses won't know you clicked on their ad - but they'll know that someone did. You might be surprised at all of the sites and apps you use on a regular basis who are sharing information about what you do. Facebook receives that data and matches it with your profile to "personalise your experience" - effectively to show you ads for products and services you might be interested in. Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg first previewed it under the name "Clear History" at the company's F8 developer conference in March 2018.

Users (and governments) have been increasingly concerned about this tracking activity, especially in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and the Off-Facebook Activity function is Facebook's response to that.

Remember going on Facebook and stumbling upon an ad for a shoe brand you were searching for a day earlier?

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As of today, our Off-Facebook Activity tool is available to people on Facebook around the world. Note that Facebook doesn't actually delete that data. And this is also hard on mobile, as people with smartphones now have more than 80 installed apps and use around 40 of them monthly. Facebook's ad revenue and profits were in line with expectations, but the stock still took a hit in after-hours trading, as some investors wondered if the company has peaked. Facebook, in its log clarifies that the number of ads would not reduce, sadly. I read privacy policies and pore through data settings for a living, but even I was impressed by the details associated with my own account.

"Clear history" removes all previously saved data from third-party apps and websites. You can disconnect it with the "clear history" control, the instructions for which can be found here. You can find out how to turn off this setting here.

If you click it and then select Manage Future Activity, Facebook will show a banner telling you that all future activity has been turned off.

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