Facebook, now under the umbrella of Meta, continues to raise eyebrows with its data collection practices. The social media giant recently unveiled its new feature, “Link History,” which automatically records every link a user clicks within the Facebook mobile app. While the company offers an opt-out option, the default setting is to collect this data, primarily for enhancing targeted advertising.
With growing privacy concerns and stricter tech regulations, companies like Apple and Google are taking steps to bolster user privacy. However, Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, appears to be doubling down on its data-centric approach. “Link History” is seen as a strategic move to maintain its data-focused business model in the face of mounting regulatory challenges.
On the surface, Facebook markets “Link History” as a user convenience feature, allowing users to track their browsing activities within the app. It’s presented as a tool to help users “never lose a link again.” However, the fine print reveals that enabling “Link History” provides Meta with valuable data to refine ad targeting across its platforms.
The user experience for opting into “Link History” is seamless, with the feature’s toggle set to ‘on’ by default in the initial pop-up. This design nudges users toward accepting the feature unless they actively choose to opt out. Despite potential data privacy concerns, Facebook assures users that any data stored in “Link History” will be deleted within 90 days if the feature is deactivated.
While “Link History” is not universally available yet, it is expected to roll out gradually in various regions. As Facebook continues to navigate privacy and regulatory challenges, its data collection practices remain a focal point of scrutiny and debate. Users and privacy advocates will be closely watching how the company handles this latest addition to its arsenal of data collection tools.