Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg Unveils ‘Clear History’ to Help Users Safeguard Data

Tool will let users delete all of their browsing history on the social network

Last Updated: May 1, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg gave another public mea culpa for the social network’s massive data leak when he took the stage at its annual F8 developer conference on Tuesday morning — and introduced a new feature to help users safeguard their data.

Zuckerberg said the Cambridge Analytica scandal — where up to 87 million users had their information unknowingly grabbed by the political firm — wasn’t something the company could explain away.

“What happened with Cambridge Analytica was a major breach of trust,” said Zuckerberg. “We have to make sure this never happens again.”

The chief exec ran through several measures the company has taken to protect user data in the last month, before introducing an upcoming feature. Facebook users will soon be able to delete their browsing history and what they’ve clicked on. Users will also be able to opt out of having this data stored by apps and other third parties moving forward. The feature will be called “Clear History.”

Zuckerberg compared the new tool to deleting cookies on your web browser.

“To be clear, when you clear your cookies in your browser, it can make parts of your experience worse. You may have to sign back into dozens of websites, you may have to reconfigure some things. The same is going to be true here. Your Facebook won’t be quite as good while it relearns your preferences,” said Zuckerberg. “But after going through our systems, this is the kind of control we think people should have.”

The update drew a round of applause from the employee-heavy crowd.

Zuckerberg even found time to make a joke about his recent congressional testimony on the data leak. While highlighting Facebook “Watch Party,” allowing users to watch video together, Zuckerberg said it’s perfect for if “your friend is testifying in front of Congress, for example. You can laugh together and cry together. Some of my friends actually did this! Let’s not do this again anytime soon.”

Good one, Zuck.