NEWS21 August 2019

Facebook launches privacy tool

Data analytics News North America Privacy Technology

US – Facebook has added a tool that allows users to see what third parties are sharing information about them with the social network.

Person holding phone with Facebook login screen

The feature will show a summary of the information other apps and websites have sent Facebook through its online business tools, and give people the option to clear this information from their account.

Using the tool, dubbed ‘Off-Facebook Activity’, people can also opt to disconnect all future third-party off-Facebook activity or remove specific apps and websites.

Facebook’s Erin Egan, chief privacy officer, policy, and David Baser, director of product management, said in a blog post: “If you clear your off-Facebook activity, we’ll remove your identifying information from the data that apps and websites choose to send us. We won’t know which websites you visited or what you did there, and we won’t use any of the data you disconnect to target ads to you on Facebook, Instagram or Messenger.”

They added: “We expect this could have some impact on our business, but we believe giving people control over their data is more important.”

It will initially be rolled out in Ireland, South Korea and Spain, extending to other countries over the coming months.

The move is one of the social network’s attempts to safeguard privacy and regain trust following last year’s Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Facebook initially announced its plans to launch a tool that would allow users to clear their browsing history in May 2018.