Facebook Promised Privacy Features That Still Haven’t Materialized

They’re (still) working on it. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images

Truly nobody would like 2018 to be over more than Facebook. The year started with millions of people impacted in a data breach (wanna feel old? Cambridge Analytica news broke in March) and ended with … millions of people impacted in a data breach (though a significantly smaller breach, 6.8 million people were informed earlier this month their unposted photos had been exposed via a bug in September). Facebook, for its part, has been actively saying it is working on building ways to help its users keep their data safe. Or at least safer. But those features aren’t coming quickly enough.

In the spring, Facebook promised a new feature called “Clear History,” which would let users opt out of letting Facebook collect and sell their browsing history to advertisers. (More specifically, collect and sell personalized browsing history. That information will still be collected but this feature would make it so advertisers don’t know which history is yours.) “Once we roll out this update, you’ll be able to see information about the apps and websites you’ve interacted with, and you’ll be able to clear this information from your account. You’ll even be able to turn off having this information stored with your account,” Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a blog post about Clear History in May. Sounds good, no? It would be, if Facebook actually got around to implementing it.

The feature has not yet made its debut and, according to a report from Recode, it’ll be “several more months” before we might see it. (Zuckerberg initially said it would take some months to build. This was nearly seven months ago.) David Baser, who leads Facebook’s new privacy product team, told Recode Facebook underestimated how long Clear History would take to build. See you all in a few months when this thing either (a) still hasn’t appeared, or (b) goes terribly wrong.

Facebook Promised Privacy Features That Haven’t Materialized