Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook promised it would give users the ability to delete the browsing histories of its servers. The company used the browsing histories to serve users personalized ads. Now, the good news is that Facebook has finally rolled out the update. The bad news is that it took the company two years to do it. Also Read - Facebook hits 2.5 billion users, revenue up but stocks down
Facebook made the Off-Facebook activity switch available to all users on Tuesday. While some countries like Ireland and South Korea featured the service since August, it is now available to everyone. Users using Facebook Mobile can find the setting’s tab under the settings menu. Also Read - After WhatsApp, Facebook to soon add Dark mode to its Android app
Here users will get a list of every website and app that Facebook tracks, even when you’re not actually using Facebook. While the company still keeping tabs on users like this is a bit unsettling, now you can change it. Further, you now know exactly when, how and how many times it harvested data from those sites and apps. Also Read - You may have to verify your identity on social platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram
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If you just want to make it all go away, you can simply click the “Clear History” button. Facebook will warn users that this might log users out of services that you use Facebook to log into. Don’t worry because you can always go back into these apps and services. However, once you do log in again, the app will continue to harvest more data. To stop this, you must change settings in the “Manage Future Activity” part of the menu.
Once you turn off data collection, you will still see the same number of ads. However, these will be less ‘customized’ to you and your interests. But here’s the interesting part – you don’t really delete any of the data. You merely have the choice to ‘disconnect’ it from Facebook. While some would argue that the solution is not really a solution at all, it is what it is for now. You can always delete your entire footprint. But if that’s not what you want, This is the closest you can get to the idea of Facebook privacy.