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Facebook to Release ‘Clear History’ This Year

by AFP

Loic Venance—AFP

New feature will allow users to erase all their data with social media giant admitting it could affect targeted advertising efforts

A Facebook feature allowing users to erase all their data is set to be released this year, many months after it was announced by the leading social network.

David Wehner, Facebook’s chief financial officer, said in comments on Tuesday at a Morgan Stanley technology conference that the company is planning to roll out the feature that was announced last May amid heightened scrutiny over Facebook’s privacy. Wehner offered no specific date but said the “clear history” feature would be available “later this year,” while noting that it would affect the social network’s efforts in targeted advertising if users do clear their data.

“It’s going to give us, I think, some headwinds in terms of being able to target as effectively as before,” he said. “But that being said, I think we’ve been able to navigate this relatively well so far … I’d say the landscape is certainly changing and the direction that makes it more challenging to grow and gives a little bit less visibility into how it will actually play out.”

The feature announced last year would allow users to see which apps and websites send the network information, delete the data from their account, and prevent Facebook from storing it.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg wrote at the time the feature would mean that users would “be able to flush your history whenever you want.”

The announcement came shortly after revelations that personal data on tens of millions of Facebook users was hijacked by Cambridge Analytica, a consultancy working for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. The scandal led to investigations worldwide and forced Facebook to review and revamp how it handles personal user data.

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