The Cambridge Analytica scandal has highlighted to users how much of their data is accessible to third parties and why is is important for users to understand what data is being collected and how it is shared.
Facebook has been facing a backlash over their data collection - there has been calls from some users to #deletefacebook, with high profile people like Elon Musk deleting his SpaceX and Tesla Facebook Pages.
In light of this backlash, Erin Egan, VP and Chief Privacy Officer and Ashlie Beinger, VP and Deputy General Counsel at Facebook , have released a statement today with news that Facebook will be making their Privacy tools easier for users to access, that Facebook is strengthening their privacy policies and are also making it easier for users to revoke apps' ability to use their data.
There are 3 main changes:
1) A Simplified Settings Menu
Facebook have redesigned their settings menu to make things easier to find, including privacy settings.
2) Added a New Privacy Shortcuts Menu
With users wanting to have more control and access to their personal information, Facebook have added a new Privacy Shortcuts menu. It helps you to review and control your personal information, make your account more secure, control the ads you see and mange who sees your posts and profile information.
These privacy tools are not new - they were just not the easiest to find, with the majority of users not understanding what information they could access.
2) Tools to find, download and delete your Facebook data
Facebook want users to feel they have control of their personal data.
They are adding a new tool called "Access Your Information" which allows users to access and manage their information such as posts, reactions, comments and things you have searched for. It also allows you to delete anything from your timeline or profile that you no longer want on Facebook.
If you want to keep a record of the data you have shared with Facebook, you can download a copy.
Looking forward, Facebook will be updating Facebook's Terms of Service that will include commitments to their users. They will also be updating their data policy to better spell out what data they collect and how they use it.
Whilst Facebook is not changing how they collect data, they are proposing to be more transparent with the information they collect.
I guess the bottom line in all of this is the understanding that there is always a price for using something that is free and in this case, it is your data.
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