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Facebook revamps privacy settings menu in response to outcry

29 March, 2018, 01:24 | Author: Samuel Sharp
  • Facebook announces new steps to protect users' privacy

Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is reportedly planning to testify before Congress in the coming weeks on how it came to be that Cambridge Analytica, a political data firm and consultation agency, could obtain information about tens of millions of Facebook users.

Tinfoil hat wearers who have been warning people about big brother watching you through your phone might be saying "I told you so".

Over the weekend, Dylan McKay downloaded his Facebook data and was alarmed to find to find that that social media app kept records of his calls and texts he made from his Android device. "If any such downstream entity misused data from Facebook, what is the protection available to the data subject?", said one of the queries in the notice. On Monday, the Federal Trade Commission said it is investigating Facebook over its privacy practices.

The release, authored by Facebook's Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan and Deputy General Counsel Ashlie Beringer, touts improved functionality and design of individual privacy settings on the platform. Most of these updates have been in the works for some time, but the events of the past several days underscore their importance.

Facebook has taken its first actions to win back your trust following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, overhauling its privacy settings to give users control of their data. "In response, the Privacy Settings page has been completely redesigned with a goal of making the controls easy, intuitive and accessible". TOday they return to the news feed, this time around with more bad news as the word comes down that Facebook has lost almost $80 Billion USD in stock market value.

The apps' Privacy Shortcuts page has also been simplified with "clearer explanations of how our controls work". Other useful privacy settings, like checking which apps are using your information or managing your interests, will carry over to the new privacy hub.

The Cambridge Analytica scandal has plunged Facebook into its worst crisis in years, with regulators and lawmakers in the United States and Britain demanding answers about how the social network deals with data privacy. The rules are created to make it easier for consumers to give and withdraw consent for the use of their data.

In the coming weeks, the company says it will update its terms of service and data policy to "better spell out what data we collect and how we use it". It suggested this will make it faster for people to do things such as review the posts they have shared or reacted to, and to limit the information used to target ads at them.


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