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Facebook’s new ‘Link History’ tracks your every click

by on03 January 2024

It doesn’t spy on you, trust us

Facebook has rolled out a new ‘Link History’ setting that stores all the links you click on in the Facebook app.

Users can opt-out, but Link History is switched on by default, and the data is used for targeted ads.

Of course, the firm sells Link History as a handy tool for users with browsing activity saved in one place rather than being another fun way for Facebook to spy on your behaviour.

Facebook says that with the new setting, you’ll ‘never lose a link again,’ something we have never noticed as a problem.

Facebook says in a pop-up urging users to agree to the new snooping method. The firm says, “When you allow link history, we may use your information to improve your ads across Meta technologies.”  Great Joy.

If you turn the setting off, Facebook vows to wipe the Link History it has stored within 90 days.

The social notworking site says it’s rolling out worldwide ‘over time.’ This is a privacy boost in some ways, but the setting raises more questions than it answers. Meta has always tracked the links you click on, and this is the first time users have had any sight or control over this part of the firm’s internet spying machine.

In other words, Meta is just asking users for permission for a type of tracking that it’s been using for over a decade. On top of that, there are several ways this setting might give users a false sense of privacy that Meta isn’t offering.

It seems the setting only affects Meta’s record of the fact that you clicked a link in the first place. Also, Meta links everything you do on Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and its other products.

Unlike some of Facebook’s other privacy settings, Link History doesn’t say it affects any of Meta’s other apps, leaving you with the data harvesting status quo on other parts of Mark Zuckerberg’s glorious empire.

Link History also makes a confusing new system that sets up privacy settings that don’t work if you use Facebook outside the Facebook app. Link History doesn't protect you if you log in to Facebook on a computer or a mobile browser instead. You can’t see the Link History page at all if you’re looking at Facebook on your laptop.

Last modified on 03 January 2024
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