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Facebook to implement changes to make data and privacy control easier

Facebook has been under serious fire since ugly privacy issues surfaced last week but the social media giant has responded and admitted there is much work to do to give users control of their data.

In a blog post co-authored by Erin Egan, VP and Chief Privacy Officer and Ashlie Beringer, VP and Deputy General Counsel, they admit a lot of work needs to be done to reinforce privacy policies and to give people a better understanding of how Facebook works.

“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 post said.

“So in addition to Mark’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 in more control over 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.”

The first changes Facebook propose will be to make the settings and tools easier to find and use.

The entire settings menu on mobile devices will be redesigned completely to make things easier to find instead of having them across almost 20 different screens.

Users can now access them in a single location and see clearly what information can and can’t be shared with apps. There will also be a new privacy shortcuts menu so information about privacy, security and advertising will be much easier to find.


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These new privacy shortcuts will be available in a menu where you can control your data in just a few steps.

Alongside these will be clear explanations about how the Facebook controls work.

With these changes uses will be able to do a number of things including:

MAKE YOUR ACCOUNT MORE SECURE

Now Facebook users can add even more layers of protection to their account including two-factor authentication.

When this is activated, if someone tries to log into your account, you will be asked to confirm whether it was you.

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CONTROL YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION

Users will be able to review what is being shared and deleted if necessary.

This includes posts you shared personally or others you reacted to as well as friend requests you sent and other things you’ve searched for on Facebook.

CONTROL THE ADS YOU SEE

Most of the data gathered on Facebook is used to show you ads.

Now there will be ad preferences which explain exactly how ads work and the options you have.

MANAGE WHO SEES YOUR POSTS AND PROFILE INFORMATION

Many may not realise, that you own what you share on Facebook and now you will be able to manage who can see your posts and the information in your profile.

Another feature Facebook will introduce is Access Your Information, a tool to find, download and delete your Facebook data.

Whether you want to delete a post you shared in the past or are curious to see the information Facebook has, Access Your Information can help you find it.

You can now manage posts, reactions, comments and even things you search for.

And from here you can delete anything from your timeline or profile that you no longer want on Facebook.

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“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,” the post concluded.

“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 (Zuckerberg) shared last week.”

About Stephen Fenech

Stephen is the Tech Guide editor and one of Australia's most respected tech journalists. He is a regular on radio and TV talking about the latest tech news, products and trends.

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