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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress last month. Photo: Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Facebook said Tuesday that in the coming months it would let users see and wipe the data fed into its ad targeting system by outside websites and applications.

Why it matters: Facebook is grappling with a data privacy reckoning after the Cambridge Analytica scandal focused a spotlight on its relations with external developers.

What they're saying:

  • "This feature will enable you to see the websites and apps that send us information when you use them, delete this information from your account, and turn off our ability to store it associated with your account going forward," said Erin Egan, who the company recently said would focus full-time on her role as Chief Privacy Officer.
  • If a user deletes this information, it will no longer be associated with their account — although Facebook says it will continue to give outside parties broad analytics reports.
  • Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg called the new control a "Clear History" option, similar to what web browsers offer, and said in a post that when users take advantage of it, "Facebook won't be as good while it relearns your preferences."

The announcement comes ahead of Facebook's F8 conference and after Zuckerberg took a beating on privacy issues in Washington. "One thing I learned from my experience testifying in Congress is that I didn't have clear enough answers to some of the questions about data," he said.

Yes, but: Facebook's ad targeting system is highly complicated, so the devil will be in the details here. Watch for privacy advocates to keep a close eye on what Facebook is building.

Go deeper: Facebook's trackers are very prevalent around the web — and they're not alone

Go deeper

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong to put tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.

10 hours ago - Health

CDC extends interval between COVID vaccine doses for exceptional cases

Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty

Patients can space out the two doses of the coronavirus vaccine by up to six weeks if it’s "not feasible" to follow the shorter recommended window, according to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention.

Driving the news: With the prospect of vaccine shortages and a low likelihood that supply will expand before April, the latest changes could provide a path to vaccinate more Americans — a top priority for President Biden.