Facebook recently introduced the “Link History” setting, which tracks users’ clicked links in its mobile app and aims to streamline browsing activity storage and enhance ad personalization.
The default-on approach aligns with Meta’s data-driven advertising strategy, but users can opt out.
Meta is marketing the tool as a way to consolidate browsing history and touts the convenience while the real purpose is to enhance ad experiences across Meta platforms.
Meta pledges to delete link history within 90 days of user opt-out, but its availability remains limited globally.
While offering visibility, it underscores Meta’s long-standing link-tracking practices without granting comprehensive control.
In 2022, the company received much criticism when a privacy consultant proved that Meta was injecting code into its websites to more accurately track users’ online movements.
This new change only acknowledges link-click records, omitting details about extensive post-click monitoring.
Link History applies within the Facebook app only, disregarding other Meta products and devices beyond the app.
Queries about Meta’s potential hidden link records outside of Link History remain unanswered.
Additionally, Meta’s external web tracking practices, like the “Meta Pixel,” extend monitoring beyond its platforms, raising broader privacy concerns.
Amid Meta’s privacy turbulence, Apple and Google are fortifying privacy measures.
Apple’s App Tracking Transparency and Google’s cookie elimination signal a shift toward user privacy.
Legislators, too, are intervening, as seen in the EU’s sanctions against Meta’s data consent policies.
Meta’s Link History has the company, once again, fighting the trends toward privacy and illuminates privacy ambiguities, highlighting the intricate balance between user control and data-driven business strategies in the ever-evolving tech privacy domain.