Facebook to make privacy settings clearer with new hub

Settings previously scattered around 20 different pages on platform

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says that his company is investigating every app with access to the Facebook platform in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Video: CNN

 

Confused about what information you are giving away on Facebook? The social media giant is simplifying its privacy tools again, making them easier to find.

It hasn’t been a great couple of weeks for Facebook. The Cambridge Analytica scandal followed by the #DeleteFacebook movement has prompted changes within the organisation, and more promises from Facebook to do better.

“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,” a blog post by Facebook’s chief privacy officer Erin Egan and deputy general counsel Ashlie Beringer said.

“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.”

The company has redesigned its settings menu on mobile devices to make everything easier to handle. Instead of being spread across 20 different screens, everything is now in one place.

Privacy shortcuts will now be in a simpler menu too. Users will be able to add extra protections such as two-factor authentication to their accounts, control what information they share and delete what they no longer wish to have on their profile.

The social media platform is also making it easier to download your information. The ability to get an archive of everything Facebook has on you has been around since 2012, but the new changes will allow users to choose what information they want to get, whether it is a specific type of information, such as photos or videos, or everything from a specific date range.

It will also be easier to move that data to another service.

Responsibility

“It’s also our responsibility to tell you how we collect and use your data in language that’s detailed, but also easy to understand. In the coming weeks, we’ll be proposing updates to Facebook’s terms of service that include our commitments to people,” the post said.

“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.”

The changes are in addition to the promises made by founder Mark Zuckerberg to clamp down on abuse of the platform, strengthen its policies and making it easier to revoke the ability for apps to access personal profile data.

The new changes are not just about reacting to recent events. With new data protection guidelines coming in a matter of weeks, Facebook and other services have to comply with the General Data Protection Regulations or face stiffer penalties.

However, the changes won’t just apply to European users, with the company set to roll them out for global users.