In a Facebook developer convention in California, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced changes to its social networking platform, including allowing users to delete information that has been gathered on them and a Dating Tool.
While taking a more somber approach to the conference than he did in the previous years, Zuckerberg on Tuesday bolstered Facebook’s commitment to privacy and building community. He said that on their social networking platform, users should have the option to delete the information stored on them similar to Google Chrome or Apple’s Safari has to delete information on their browser.
Zuckerberg’s commitment follows a month long sojourn with the law in which he was slapped with a data privacy scandal and tried rebuilding public trust in Facebook. In March, it had come to light that Cambridge Analytica one of Donald Trump’s Presidential Campaign marketing firm had collected information improperly of 87 million users. This caused an outcry of the misuse of the information on Facebook.
The deleting of browsing history gives the user some power in how to handle the data facebook collects on them and makes it comply with the norms set by competitors in the field. Google and Apple allow users to delete information collected from them in their servers. Facebook, Like Google also complain that without that information present on their server it would be harder to auto-complete the searches and perform worse than usual.
Research suggest that deleting cookies from their computer – including ones which are placed by ads to collect information of the websites they visit is a way of life and one of the few privacy protection steps which have been embraced by Americans. According to research, 60 percent of users have cleared their browser history and cleared their cookies, according to a 2016 study. And the fact is that many Americans delete the browser history and cookies in order to make their computers faster.
Facebook’s tracking cookies are formed through actions such as “Like” buttons on Facebook which allows the headlines to populate them with videos and other media when the websites are clicked through the like button. Behind the scenes the “like” button works like any other cookie.
Such changes to Facebook’s privacy practices have not quieted its critics. British Lawmakes made it a point to ask for clarification of the stand Zuckerberg on a key committee. “We hope that he will respond positively to our request, but if not, the Committee will resolve to issue a formal summons for him ot appear when he is next in the UK,” they wrote in a letter to the company.
The move to create an online dating app follows the Facebook’s broader effort to copy successful services from other companies. In recent times, Facebook has taken the step to start a Marketplace feature which is similar to Craigslist, and allow a tab that allows people to donate money that mimics features of crowdsourced funding apps. On Tuesday, Facebook also said that it would create a Facebook Watch, which is similar to the platform Houseparty which allows users to participate and watch in group chats and videos.