Last week, Facebook’s CFO David Welner said at the Morgan Stanley 2019 Technology, Media & Telecom Conference in San Francisco, “Privacy is a headwind for us in 2019. It’s one of the factors that’s contributing to our expected deceleration of revenue growth throughout the year.”
At the same conference, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg claimed that “Targeted advertising and privacy are not at odds,” and she said that one of the things “people fundamentally don’t understand well enough about Facebook… is our business model.”
“We’re running the company in fundamentally in a very different way” with a major focus on stopping abuses of its platform, she added. “As we were building the business, we didn’t put enough resources and enough investment into preventing harm. As we were growing the business, we were very focused on all the good it can do, and all the good it still does every single day. And I think we didn’t foresee some of the ways the platform could be abused, and that’s on us.”
Now, the company has announced that they will be rolling out a Clear History Tool this year. Giving it’s 2.32 billion monthly users the ability to clear out their digital history is going to hurt the social-media colossus’ business, according to a top Facebook executive. At a high level, the clear-history tool is “going to give us some headwinds in terms of being able to target as effectively as before,” Wehner said.
The social media network’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg first announced the plans for a “clear history” tool in May 2018 at the company’s F8 developer conference, in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Zuckerberg explained: “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 also noted that if users clear their history, “Your Facebook won’t be as good while it relearns your preferences.”
This is another move in the company’s attempt to meet compliance standards and laws, and ensure users’ data security.