Clear History feature on Facebook is now accessible in all regions, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced today in a blog post. It’s part of a new section called “Off-Facebook behavior” in your preferences, and it lets users see which third parties have posted their experiences with the social network— even if they don’t use Facebook directly.
Off-Facebook operation is the details that organizations and blogs share with Facebook depending on your page or device experiences. The Clear History feature can be useful if you are constantly getting ads for something you just watched online or tip for things Facebook feels you might be involved in. Apart from deleting your past, the new section also provides options for accessing your information by folder, saving the details and deciding how to handle off-Facebook activity in the future.
The platform was first revealed in the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica controversy at the company’s annual F8 developer conference in 2018 and it first rolled out to three countries following months of delays. Facebook says that unexpected delays were due to technical challenges related to how the company’s server stores data.
Then, you should block the data collection (somewhat). Users can opt-out of sending their data to Facebook to “disconnect” a select website or app. The social network will still collect data, though; it will just not be linked to your Facebook Profile.
The “clear history” button does the same except across all websites and applications. When you choose this option, the company alerts that you will sign out of any third-party apps that you used to login to Facebook. Additionally, the number of ads you’ll see on Facebook will stay the same, they’ll just not be as important.
“A new level of openness and control labels off-Facebook operation,” Zuckerberg wrote today. “We’ve been working on this for a while because some of our structures had to be modified to make it possible.”
Facebook is sending users a request in the News Feed to check their privacy settings in an effort to mark Data Privacy Day, leading them to a Privacy Checkup app. The platform guides you through a tour of who can access your profile, an option to turn on two-factor authentication, and which applications you use to sign in to your Facebook account. Notably, the latest Off-Facebook operation introduced today does not direct users towards it. It’s not the easiest tool to find because it’s buried inside menus, either.