28 Mar 2018 | 01.27 pm
Facebook Updates Privacy Settings Visibility
Social media giant in spotlight over data harvesting
28 Mar 2018 | 01.27 pm
Facebook is to simplify and tighten up its privacy settings, as the fallout continues from the Cambridge Analytica story. It was revealed just over a week ago that the British consulting firm harvested Facebook for personal data from some 50 million users to sway US voters.
Facebook issued a statement today (March 28) by Erin Egan, VP and chief privacy officer (policy), and Ashlie Beringer, VP and deputy general counsel, which promised to address privacy issues on Facebook. Specifically, the social media giant is to make its privacy settings easier to find and manage.
“The last week showed how much more work we need to do to enforce our policies, and to help people understand how Facebook works and the choices they have over their data,” the statement reads.
“We’ve heard loud and clear that privacy settings and other important tools are too hard to find, and that we must do more to keep people informed. […] We’re taking additional steps in the coming weeks to put people in more control over their privacy. Most of these updates have been in the works for some time, but the events of the past several days underscore their importance.”
The Facebook platform’s settings menu has been redesigned on mobile devices to make things easier to find, the firm claims. “Instead of having settings spread across nearly 20 different screens, they’re now accessible from a single place. We’ve also cleaned up outdated settings, so it’s clear what information can and can’t be shared with apps.”
Other changes to the Facebook platform include a new privacy shortcuts menu. From there, users can:
• Make their account more secure, with features such as two-factor authentication for unrecognised device log-ins
• Review what information they have shared and delete it if they want to. This includes posts users have shared or reacted to, friend requests they’ve sent and things they have searched for on Facebook
• Control the ads they see by managing the information Facebook uses to show targeted ads
• Manage who sees posts and profile information.
Another new feature on Facebook is ‘Access Your Information’. According to Facebook, it provides a secure way for users to access and manage their information, such as posts, reactions and comments, as well as things they have searched for. “You can go here to delete anything from your timeline or profile that you no longer want on Facebook,” the firm says.
Users can also download a secure copy of the data they’ve shared with Facebook and move the file to another device. This includes photos uploaded, contacts added and timeline posts.
In the coming weeks, Facebook said that it will be proposing updates to its terms of service that. “We’ll also update our data policy to better spell out what data we collect and how we use it.
“These updates are about transparency – not about gaining new rights to collect, use, or share data,” Facebook stressed. “We’ve worked with regulators, legislators and privacy experts on these tools and updates.”