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Facebook will start telling users which third-party websites and apps are keeping tabs on them

Published May 1st, 2018 12:55PM EDT
Facebook Privacy
Image: AP/REX/Shutterstock

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With Facebook still trying to recover from the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the social networking giant has already started to implement a number of initiatives designed to provide users with more control and information regarding how their personal data is used. Earlier today, Facebook’s Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan announced that the company is planning to roll out a new tool that will allow users to see which websites and apps have gleaned information about them. In turn, the new tool — which is being called Clear History — will also allow users to delete said information.

Egan’s statement reads in part:

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.

Egan adds that it will take Facebook a few months to develop the tool. What’s more, Egan notes that the development process will include input from “privacy advocates, academics, policymakers and regulators.”

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.