January 28 was Data Privacy Day, and Facebook took the occasion to announce that it was putting its “Clear History” function, now rechristened Off-Facebook Activity Tool, into general release. Not a cure-all, but certainly a step in the right direction. Good thing we only have to think about data privacy on one day a year, right?
- Starting the Decade by Giving You More Control Over Your Privacy [FB.com] “Other businesses send us information about your activity on their sites and we use that information to show you ads that are relevant to you. Now you can see a summary of that information and clear it from your account if you want to.”
- How to Change Your Off-Facebook Activity Settings [Electronic Frontier Foundation] “This tutorial will guide you through the steps to not only ‘clear’ the off-Facebook activity already linked with your account, but also to prevent future activity from being associated with your account going forward.”
- All users can now access Facebook’s tool for controlling which apps and sites can share data for ad-targeting [TechCrunch] “To get the third-party to delete whatever data it has collected on you, you’ll still need to follow its own procedures to delete your account or clear your data there.”
- Facebook’s ‘Clear History’ Tool Doesn’t Clear Shit [Gizmodo] “The way I browse any number of sites and apps will ultimately still make its way to Facebook, and still be used for targeted advertising across… those sites and apps. Only now, my on-Facebook life—the cat groups I join, the statuses I comment on, the concerts I’m “interested” in (but never actually attend)—won’t be a part of that profile.”
From the Ohio Web Library:
- “Data Privacy Day: Enhance Data Security in 10 Minutes or Less.” PR Newswire US, 28 Jan. 2020.
- Wagner, Kurt. “Facebook Warns Advertisers ‘Clear History’ May Hurt Targeting.” Bloomberg.Com, May 2019, p. N.PAG.
- Romm, Tony. “Facebook’s ‘Clear History’ Tool Has Ambiguous Data-Privacy Controls.” Washington Post, The, 2019 8AD.