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Facebook Clear History tool delayed again – along with your right to privacy

Facebook has once again delayed the rollout of its Clear History tool, which will – in theory – enable users to delete the data the social network stores on their usage habits.

The spring 2019 launch window, which had already been pushed back once from late 2018, will come and go without the launch of the tool, Facebook has confirmed. Instead, Facebook is delaying the roll out until this autumn, meaning those keen to purge their personal data from the company’s grasp will likely be waiting another six months to do so.

Facebook’s VP of Integrity (stop giggling, that’s really a thing, even though it’s kinda like Donald Trump appointing a VP of Compassion), Guy Rosen says the new delay is because Facebook wants to get the feature right.

During a Facebook event on Thursday – which was convened to provide an update on how well the company was doing with various efforts to clean up its act – Rosen said the company is revamping how the it processes the data in question.

Rosen said (via Engadget): “We’re working to reengineer our systems, and how we process that data so that we can do it right. That’s why it’s taking more time than anticipated.”

Related: How to delete your Facebook account 

During the F8 conference, which took place on May 1 last year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg promised the tool would be available in a matter of months. Turns out he was right, about 18 of them to be precise. At the time, he explained how it can help users guard against illicit data sharing such as the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which tarnished the firm’s reputation for respecting user privacy.

“In your web browser, you have a simple way to clear your cookies and history. The idea is a lot of sites need cookies to work, but you should still be able to flush your history whenever you want. We’re building a version of this for Facebook too. It will be a simple control to clear your browsing history on Facebook — what you’ve clicked on, websites you’ve visited, and so on,” Zuckerberg wrote at the time.

“We’re starting with something a lot of people have asked about recently: the information we see from websites and apps that use Facebook’s ads and analytics tools.”

Are you deliberating whether to keep your Facebook account? What’s stopping you from deleting it? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.

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