Facebook announces new privacy tools for users following data controversy

Facebook announces new privacy tools for users following data controversy

Lindsey Duncan
March 30, 2018

Johannes Caspar, the German government official responsible for policing the activities of Facebook, on Wednesday criticised the United States social media company's reaction in the ongoing Cambridge Analytical data scandal.

"This doesn't change any of the data that Facebook's actually collecting", said Kurt Wagner, senior editor at Recode.

Facebook said Wednesday it will now be easier for users to find privacy control settings and see the information the social media giant has about them - moves that come in the wake of the widening Cambridge Analytica data-misappropriation controversy.

The new privacy checkup menu will help you tweak your settings quickly. Therefore, instead of having settings spread across almost 20 different screens, users can now access it all from a single place. This will make it hard for Facebook to keep a track of users' online activities.

After you enter your password, it will send all of the data to the email address connected with your Facebook account, which took about 15 minutes when Rossen completed the process. Click at the top right of any Facebook page and select Settings, then click on Download A Copy Of Your Facebook Data at the bottom of General Account Settings.

In addition, there's a new privacy shortcuts menu "where you can control your data in just a few taps, with clearer explanations of how our controls work", the pair said.

"Oh wow my deleted Facebook Zip file contains info on every single phone, cellphone call and text I made for about a year", wrote ‏Twitter user Mat Johnson.

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The changes announced today let users add more layers of protection, control what they share and delete it if they want to, control the ads they see, and manage who sees their posts and profile information.

Facebook has a feature that allows users to download every bit of content you've ever uploaded to the social-networking site, including status updates, search queries, photos and videos.

In response to multiple inquiries from lawmakers and pushback from some users, Facebook said in a March 28 blog post that it's changing the settings screen to make it easier for users to gain control of their information or delete their data.

Facebook is also pledging to update its terms of service and data policy to improve "transparency".

"This product enables third-party data providers to offer their targeting directly on Facebook", product marketing director Graham Mudd said in a statement posted online.

India's information technology ministry last week formally requested that Cambridge Analytica - the data analysis company at the centre of the Facebook firestorm - provide clarity over its practices by the end of the month.