Skip to main content

Facebook is releasing a privacy feature, first promised more than a year ago, that will allow users to clear the information that third-party sites and apps share with Facebook. 

The social media giant collects "off-Facebook activity," linking that history with Facebook (FB) accounts to help with more precise ad targeting. Soon, however, users in some countries can view or clear that off-Facebook activity from their profiles and opt to disconnect them altogether. 

Facebook shares were down 0.7% to 184.83 on Tuesday. 

The new feature is rolling out first in Ireland, South Korea and Spain, and Facebook said it plans make it available everywhere in the coming months.

The idea was first introduced at Facebook's F8 conference in May 2018, not long after the Cambridge Analytica scandal emerged, and was described as a "Clear History" option that would allow users to wipe their browsing history. The project has experienced multiple delays. 

In a blog post in May ahead of the tool's launch, Facebook warned advertisers that their targeting capabilities would be impacted if users adopt the feature, writing that they should take this into consideration in the second half of this year and beyond. Facebook earns 99% of its revenue from advertising, according to FactSet. 

"We expect this could have some impact on our business, but we believe giving people control over their data is more important," wrote Facebook chief privacy officer Erin Egan and product management director David Baser on Tuesday.

Save 57% With Our Labor Day Sale. Join Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS investment club to become a smarter investor! Click here to sign up!

Facebook is a holding in Jim Cramer'sAction Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. Want to be alerted before Cramer buys or sells FB? Learn more now.