The Verge reported on May 1st that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced that Facebook is adding a new feature called Clear History to its privacy controls. Zuckerberg said, "It will be a simple control to clear your browsing history on Facebook — what you've clicked on, websites you've visited, and so on."
The first application of Clear History is tied (no surprise) to the Cambridge Analytica scandal. "Once we roll out this update, you'll be able to see information about the apps and websites you've interacted with, and you'll be able to clear this information from your account. You'll even be able to turn off having this information stored with your account." Facebook has announced numerous steps in recent weeks designed to prevent third parties from collecting personal data from unknowing users.
It is not all happy news for users. As Zuckerberg noted, "To be clear, when you clear your cookies in your browser, it can make parts of your experience worse. You may have to sign back in to every website, and you may have to reconfigure things. The same will be true here." The CEO warns that "your Facebook won't be as good while it relearns your preferences." Users and privacy advocates are unlikely to be pleased by the degradation in experience. And we are used to hearing that unless we give up privacy, performance degradation will occur. It seems to me that the geniuses at Facebook can do better.
Facebook says it's going to take "a few months" to build and release Clear History. So stay tuned – the intense heat on Facebook is unlikely to diminish.
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Digital Forensics/Information Security/Information Technology