Here’s how Facebook’s Clear History tool will work

Ever since news broke back in March that millions of Facebook users’ private information had been accessed by a political consultancy without their permission, the company has been working hard to repair trust among Facebook users and investors. There have been public apologies from top Facebook leaders, a congressional appearance by founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and promises of change from the company.

Now, it seems, Facebook is following up on those promises. On Tuesday, Zuckerberg announced at Facebook’s annual developer conference that the company was working on creating a “Clear History” button for users on its website.

“In your web browser, you have a simple way to clear your cookies and browsing history,” Zuckerberg said, according to Consumer Reports. “You should have the ability to go and clear your history at any point that you want. So, we’re working on a version of this for Facebook, too.”

The Clear History button, a tool that will be built out over the next few months, will allow users to erase the information Facebook has collected about their actions on the website. “You’re going to be able to use this tool to see the information about the apps and websites you’ve interacted with,” Zuckerberg told developers on Tuesday, according to Time. “You’ll be able to clear all this information from your account. You’ll even be able to turn it off.”

facebook website photo
Getty Images | Justin Sullivan

Whether you turn off data collection altogether or just decide to clear your history on Facebook periodically, Facebook will remove any identifying details linked to your history so that the data Facebook has built up from your online activities won’t be associated with your account.

“There has been a watershed discussion of privacy in the last several months,” Pam Dixon, executive director of the World Privacy Forum, told Consumer Reports. “My guess is this is going to be something people will use.”

The Clear History tool won’t be available for another few months, since the Facebook team is still building it out — but it’s certainly a feature to look forward to for anyone concerned with their online data and privacy.