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Facebook began rolling out on Tuesday its long-promised clear history tool designed to let users sever any connections between their social media account and web browsing history.
The new feature, now referred to as the “Off-Facebook Activity” tool, is initially being made available to users in Ireland, South Korea, and Spain before making its way to other countries in the near future.
In a post on the company’s blog, Erin Egan, chief privacy officer, policy, and David Baser, director of product management, outline how users can now see who is sharing your online data with Facebook.
“Off-Facebook Activity lets you see a summary of the apps and websites that send us information about your activity, and clear this information from your account if you want to,” the blog states.
Once that data is cleared, Facebook says it will no longer “know which websites you visited or what you did there.”
Although Facebook makes money through ads, the company says it believes the new tool is pertinent even if it ultimately affects their bottom line.
“We expect this could have some impact on our business, but we believe giving people control over their data is more important,” Facebook notes.
Although Zuckerberg is attempting to re-brand the company as a privacy-conscious platform, former employees told BuzzFeed News that the new tool was only made to save face.
“It’s public relations,” one former employee said. “It’s, ‘Hey, look at this shiny thing, please don’t pay attention to this mushroom cloud.’”
Mikael Thalen is a tech and security reporter based in Seattle, covering social media, data breaches, hackers, and more.