Facebook Updates Privacy Settings, Plans New Terms of Service
Facebook has confirmed an overhaul in privacy settings on the social network in order to make it easier for users to control their personal data. The company said it will also be proposing an update to its terms of service and data policy in the coming weeks to help customers understand better how it collects and uses personal data. Facebook said the updates “are about transparency – not about gaining new rights to collect, use, or share data”, and the new tools and terms were developed following consultation with regulators, legislators and privacy experts.
The updates were flagged by CEO Mark Zuckerberg earlier, along with Facebook’s plans to tighten its control of third-party apps on the social network and how they access or process user data. The changes follow the scandal over Cambridge Analytica, which used data collected by a third-party app on Facebook without user authorisation in order to target Facebook users with political campaigns.
The changes include a complete overhaul of the Facebook settings menu, from nearly 20 different screens to a single menu for quicker access to the range of settings. The company said it also cleaned up outdated settings so it’s clear what information can and can’t be shared with apps.
It also added a new ‘Privacy Shortcuts’ menu to control personal data access “in just a few taps”, with clearer explanations of how the controls work. This allows users to increase security, such as adding two-factor authentication; to review and delete any data shared on the site; to manage the information used for Facebook to target ads and adjust ad preferences; and to control the personal information seen by others on the user’s profile and posts.
Following reports that it was difficult for Facebook users to access their data when leaving the social network, the company has introduced the new ‘Access Your Information’ menu. Facebook users can go here to access and manage their information, such as posts, reactions, comments, and things they’ve searched for, and to delete anything from their timeline or profile that they no longer want on Facebook. They can also download all the data they’ve shared with Facebook and move it to another service.