Facebook to release “clear history” tool

By Cameron Abbott and Keely O’Dowd

Facebook collects data on every “like” button you click on a website and the websites you visit that use Facebook pixel code.

At the F8 Conference, Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook will release a new tool that will enable Facebook users to see and delete identifying information that Facebook has collected about them from other websites and apps. This new “clear history” tool will also allow users to turn off having this information stored with their Facebook account.

Zuckerberg has acknowledged that he has learnt from his experience testifying before the US Congress and that he “didn’t have clear enough answers to some of the questions about data”. Going forward, Zuckerberg has flagged that Facebook is working towards making sure its privacy controls are clear and more tools will be coming soon.

We cannot help wincing at the current Facebook notice which starts “We understand the importance of keeping your data safe…” This is a common mistake of companies in communicating after a privacy/data breach – it is generally received poorly because, for example, if they had understood the importance the failure wouldn’t have occurred and Zuckerberg wouldn’t have ended up testifying before Congress.

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