Back in August, Facebook announced a new tool called Off-Facebook Activity, to allow its users to delete history and data from apps and websites. This tool was first released for users in Ireland, South Korea and Spain, but now it is available in Canada and globally.
Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerburg, made the announcement today, in a company blog post:
As of today, our Off-Facebook Activity tool is available to people on Facebook around the world. Other businesses send us information about your activity on their sites and we use that information to show you ads that are relevant to you. Now you can see a summary of that information and clear it from your account if you want to.
Off-Facebook Activity marks a new level of transparency and control. We’ve been working on this for a while because we had to rebuild some of our systems to make this possible.
What happens when you clear all of your off-Facebook activity? The company’s FAQ states:
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. We expect this could have some impact on our business, but we believe giving people control over their data is more important.
How to access the Off-Facebook Activity tool? Within Facebook, head to Settings > Your Facebook Information > Off-Facebook Activity, or click here to go to the tool directly.
Once there, click ‘Clear History’ to disconnect your off-Facebook activity history from your account. You’ll be surprised at how many apps and websites have your data and information.
This new tool is the result of Facebook’s involvement in the Cambridge Analytica scandal in 2018.