Wash your Facebook! New ‘clear history’ tool will allow users to scrub the site of data collected by apps

The tool will allow users to see which websites and apps send Facebook their data, and then give the option to delete it – but it could take months to build, the site has warned

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 02 May, 2018, 1:16am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 02 May, 2018, 1:17am

Facebook will let users see which websites and apps send the social network data on their activity – and then give them the option to delete it, with a new “clear history” tool, the company has announced.

The Menlo Park, California-based company is developing the feature in response to an outcry about data collection and privacy on its sites, following revelations that an outside developer improperly handled personal information on tens of millions of users.

AI is great at recognising nipples, Mark Zuckerberg says

The crisis has spawned questions from lawmakers and privacy advocates about who owns the data that users share on Facebook, and the company has taken other steps to address the concerns, including pausing some developer tools and auditing apps on its platform.

“The past several weeks have made clear that people want more information about how Facebook works and the controls they have over their information,” Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan wrote in a blog post on Tuesday, just as the company kicked off its F8 annual developer conference.

WhatsApp founder leaving Facebook after clashes over privacy, data

“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.”

It will take months to build the new Clear History feature, Egan wrote, adding that the company will work with privacy advocates, academics, policymakers and regulators for input on how to remove personal information.