Facebook is making changes to its privacy tools amid the recent data controversy which targeted 50 million users of the social network.
While the updates won’t alter Facebook’s privacy policies and the data it gathers about users, it will ensure its 2.2 billion users will find it easier to navigate the confusing privacy and security settings.
“Last week it was revealed the data of 50 million users had been harvested and shared with a political consultancy.
Facebook claim the makeover was planned prior to the scandal in order to comply with new EU rules.
In a blog post, they revealed:
Last week showed how much more work we need to do to enforce our policies and help people understand how Facebook works and the choices they have over their data. 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.
So in addition to Mark Zuckerberg’s announcements last week – cracking down on abuse of the Facebook platform, strengthening our policies, and making it easier for people to revoke apps’ ability to use your data – we’re taking additional steps in the coming weeks to put people more in control of their privacy.”
Most of these updates have been in the works for some time, but the events of the past several days underscore their importance.
“We’ve redesigned our entire settings menu on mobile devices from top to bottom to make things easier to find. Instead of having settings spread across nearly 20 different screens, they’re now accessible from a single place. We’ve also cleaned up outdated settings so it’s clear what information can and can’t be shared with apps.
People have also told us that information about privacy, security, and ads should be much easier to find. The new Privacy Shortcuts is a menu where you can control your data in just a few taps, with clearer explanations of how our controls work. The experience is now clearer, more visual, and easy-to-find.”
Speaking about how they intend to approach similar problems in the future, they concluded:
“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.
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.
We’ve worked with regulators, legislators and privacy experts on these tools and updates. We’ll have more to share in the coming weeks, including updates on the measures Mark shared last week.”
In January, Zuckerberg was reported to have lost $3.3 billion thanks to changes to how Facebook operates.
They believe that Facebook is facing a phenomenon known as ‘context collapse’ which basically means that as users share less about themselves online the data that Facebook sells to advertisers becomes less valuable.
By encouraging people to once again share personal information on the site they may be able to increase Facebook’s commercial value.
by JOSH TEAL