With Facebook facing a wave of public backlash over how it has handled user data over the years — a backlash that was kicked off two weeks ago with the revelation that data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica had worked on targeted electoral campaign employing personal and private Facebook data — the company today announced a new situated of changes to help users find and change their privacy defines, as well as download and delete whatever data has been collected through Facebook’s network of social media services.
To be clear, many of these settings and features already existed in Facebook, but now Facebook is attaining them significantly clearer for the average user to detect and use. It’s possible that Facebook would have had to do a lot of this work anyway in light of the new GDPR requirements that are coming into place in Europe.
What today’s changes do not do is provide any indications that Facebook plans to do anything different in terms of what information it’s gathering and using to run its service, and its bigger, profitable business.( Indeed, even upcoming a modification to its terms of service, which will include more clarity on Facebook’s data policy, will contain no changes in it, the company says:” These updates are about transparency- not about gaining new rights to collect, use, or share data ,” writes Erin Egan, Facebook’s chief privacy officer .)
We’ve seen a lot of people already downloading their Facebook data in the last week or so( without today’s update ), and the impression you get is that they are generally arriving away shocked by the amount of information that had been amassed through Facebook’s various apps across web and mobile. That in itself — combined with more scrutiny from regulators over how data is collected, utilized, and shared, and bigger changes that Facebook is inducing in terms of how it works with third-party apps that connect into the Facebook platform( which CEO Mark Zuckberg announced last week) — will hopefully lead to more meaningful changes on that front.
For the time being, however, the main idea here is that if you choose to stay and use Facebook, caveat emptor, and proceed armed with more control. Facebook highlights several areas where changes are being put in place 😛 TAGEND
User controls. Facebook said that it has redesigned its situates menu for mobile, consolidating all of the primary controls on one screen. This is already a significant change, given that previously they were spread across 20: a gating factor that would have meant it was hard to find what you were trying to change, or perhaps leading many to give up altogether. It’s also inducing it clear what can and cannot be shared with apps, specifically:” We’ve also cleaned up outdated settings so it’s clear what information can and can’t be shared with apps ,” writes Egan. The fact that it seems there were some out of date parts in the menus highlights that this might not have been Facebook’s biggest priority up to now. Privacy shortcuts. For those who don’t want to dive into their sets, Facebook said it is also going to put in a new item into its menu, immediately linking users to privacy defines. Privacy Shortcuts, Facebook said, will come by way of a few taps and will let people add in two-factor authentication; composite access to what you’ve shared via Facebook with the option of deleting if you choose; controls for your ad decideds, which will also include an explanation of how ads work on Facebook for those who might want to know more; and a link to help you control what and how you share on the site — that is, the define of” populace, friends merely, and friends of friends .” Again, that control has been in place for years already at Facebook, but many don’t know how to access it, or what it entails. Putting it a bit more front and center might change that. Downloading and deleting Facebook data. The objective here is to make it easier for people to do both if they want. Access Your Information will be a secure connect that people can use to collect this, and it will make it easier for people to do both. Will the ease and openness make it less likely that users will decide to leave Facebook wholly? That remains to be seen.