Facebook’s “clear history” tool is here. It allows users to uncouple data held by third parties through Facebook trackers from their profiles. Not to be outdone, Google proposed a new initiative with the goal of making it more difficult for advertisers to track users across the web by not only altering how cookies work in Chrome but also giving users more tools to block such cookies. The initiative is part of a larger “Privacy Sandbox” effort by Google to allow advertisers to run personalized ads but still protect user privacy.
The world is starting to wake up from a social media daze it’s been in for the last 15 years, and last week we learned even Facebook may be waking up… a bit. Mark Zuckerberg made quite the statement in regards to the future of the social network. “We’re building a foundation for social communication aligned with the direction people increasingly care about: messaging each other privately…. I believe a privacy-focused communications platform will become even more important than today’s open platforms.”
2018 was a deluge of revelations regarding data, privacy and security. It was revealed Facebook leveraged user data as both a carrot and a stick with partners. We found out our phones are tracking even more about us than we originally thought. Advertisers realized the metrics they were getting weren’t only misrepresented; they were blatantly false. That barely scratches the surface of all that was revealed last year.
Maybe 2019 will be different.