When you log into an app or service using Facebook, those organizations and businesses can share info about your interactions with the social media network. About two years ago the company promised us the option to delete that history and after a long delay the button is finally here.
The option to erase your browsing history off Facebook has appeared in the settings menu in the “Your Facebook Information” section. Just choose “Off-Facebook Activity” in the browser or app to get started.
In this new section you’ll find different options to handle that pesky history that’s been following you around for years. First off you’ll see several apps that you logged into using the easy Facebook option. Click on them to get the full list. If you then click on a single app you’ll get more info about which interactions were shared and what Facebook does with them.
Once you’ve recovered from the realization that you really did use Facebook to login everywhere, you can then choose to either turn off future activity from the app or give feedback about the activity.
If you’ve had it with this massive data collecting, you can choose to clear your history. Obviously you’ll first get a warning about what that will mean for you. Clearing your history might log you out of certain apps, but of course you can always log back in so that’s no biggie. Furthermore you’re told that your activity history will be disconnected from your account, but that they will continue to receive your activity info from the businesses and organizations you visit in the future.
Wait what??? Yes Facebook will still collect your future activity, however you can disconnect that activity from your account in the “More Options” section with the “Manage Future Activity” option. There you can turn off “Future Off-Facebook Activity”, which disconnects future activity from your account.
Facebook may use future activity data for measurement purposes and to make improvements to their ads systems. It seems like if you want to stop Facebook from collecting this data you’ll have to go to the apps you logged into with Facebook and disconnect the network from your account there.
Also: if you choose to turn off “Future Off-Facebook Activity” You won’t be able to log into apps and websites with Facebook, because you’re activity will be disconnected from your account. Incidentally doing all of this will not prompt Facebook to show you less ads. You’ll see the same number of ads, but they’ll be less personalized.
So the new option doesn’t really let you get rid of that browsing history, but at least now there’s a bit more transparency about what is being collected.