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Apparently, Facebook’s “clear history” tool is a big fucking sham

C’mon Facebook, seriously?

facebook tool on iphone on a table with a macbook
Image: Unsplash

Yesterday, we praised Facebook for finally releasing a tool to let us control our data. It was released on Data Privacy Day so it must be good, right? Well, as with many things regarding Facebook these days, it only took a couple of hours to realize this tool wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.

As it turns out, you aren’t actually wiping the data through this tool. This tool is specifically for breaking the connection between the websites Facebook is sharing your data with.

So, yeah, that data you thought was deleted? It still lives within Facebook

You see, in Facebook’s announcement post regarding the service it notes that the tool will help users control “off-Facebook activity”. This is important because what this is saying is that your data, the data you thought you were controlling with the new tool, is still on Facebook and Facebook still has access to it. It just means the literal connection between third parties and Facebook has been severed.

Now, granted, this isn’t terrible and still welcome (I had over 400 connections when I checked mine), but it also wasn’t exactly clear what was happening to the data once the connection was broken. Well, Facebook still has that. So, that’s uhh cool.

If you want to get a more in-depth look at how it all works, make sure to check out Gizmodo’s report here.

What do you think? Surprised that Facebook wasn’t completely transparent here? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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