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As Facebook continues to face criticism from users over how much data it collects, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on his Facebook page hours ahead of the company’s annual developer conference that Facebook is introducing a “clear history” tool that will allow users to clear their browsing history on Facebook.
“After going through our systems, this is an example of the kind of control we think you should have. It’s something privacy advocates have been asking for,” Zuckerberg wrote.
In another blog post, Facebook VP and chief privacy officer Erin Egan said that the clear history tool will “enable you to see the websites and apps that send us information when you use them, delete this information from your account, and turn off our ability to store it associated with your account going forward.” It’s unclear how Facebook defines “associated with your account.”
Egan also wrote that it will take a few months to build the clear history feature, and that the company will work with “privacy advocates, academics, policymakers and regulators to get their input on our approach.” Developers will still be able to access aggregate information about user behavior — whether more men or women downloaded their app, for example.
The announcement comes less than a month after Zuckerberg testified in front of Congress, where some senators and representatives urged him to do a better job of alerting users what information Facebook stores on them and for how long.
Zuckerberg didn’t share much additional information on the tool during his opening keynote at Facebook’s F8 conference today, but said he believed “your Facebook won’t be quite as good as it relearns your preferences” once a user enables the”clear history” tool. He said users may have to relogin to websites they had previously logged into — a step that anyone who has cleared cookies is familiar with.