Meta has rolled out an enhanced feature on both Facebook and Instagram, allowing users to conveniently store their recently visited sites. Simultaneously, this feature aligns with Meta’s objective to refine targeted advertising strategies.
Link History and Targeted Advertising: Company Stance
Highlighted in a support article by Gizmodo, Meta acknowledges that with link history activated, user information may be leveraged to enhance advertising precision, serving the company’s marketing objectives.
User Control and Deactivation Process
While Instagram offers a similar link tracking functionality, it isn’t automatically enabled. Users can easily activate it without concerns about advertising, as Meta primarily positions it as a tool for saving links. However, users retain control over this feature and can deactivate it.
To do so, users need to access the link in the program, click on the browser menu, and disable link history—a process identical for both Facebook and Instagram.
Privacy Implications: Notable Incidents
Link History Removal and Advertising Persistency
Meta assures users that both Facebook and Instagram will erase all link history. However, the removal process may span up to 90 days, during which pre-targeted ads might persist, notes NIX Solutions.
European Union and Advertising Removal
In the European Union, Meta generally offers an option to eliminate advertising for Facebook and Instagram users—for a substantial monthly fee of approximately 10 euros. This approach raises questions about Meta’s compliance strategies and its intent to circumvent European privacy regulations.