Facebook has recently launched a new feature called "link history." This tool tracks and compiles a list of links clicked by users within its platform. However, in a move towards greater user control over personal data, Facebook has made this feature optional, allowing users the choice to disable it.

The introduction of "link history" comes at a time when Facebook's data collection practices have undergone substantial scrutiny and change. Historically, the social media giant gathered extensive user data from various sources, including external website visits and mobile phone usage. This comprehensive data collection facilitated the sale of highly targeted advertisements, a primary revenue source for the company.

However, Facebook's data practices encountered significant legal challenges, culminating in a $725 million settlement paid last year for violating user privacy through unauthorized data sharing with third parties. Further impacting Facebook's data access, Apple's implementation of the "App Tracking Transparency" feature has markedly reduced the amount of user data available to Facebook and similar platforms.

Responding to these developments, Facebook has adapted by introducing an in-app web browser feature that tracks websites visited through the Facebook Mobile Browser. The "link history" function retains a record of websites visited in the last 30 days, with the stated purpose of refining the personalization of advertisements across Meta platforms, including Instagram, WhatsApp, and Quest VR.

Users have begun receiving notifications about this new feature, which remains active by default unless manually disabled. For those interested in opting out, the process involves navigating to the settings section within the Facebook app and toggling the "Allow link history" option.

As a free service, Facebook's operational model relies heavily on ad revenue generated from user data. The introduction of features like "link history" and the increased flexibility in user data management reflect an evolving landscape where users have more say in how their information is used.

See the full story here via KTLA.

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