Facebook to give users more control over personal information

30 March, 2018, 00:06 | Author: Elaine Woods
  • Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook is updating its privacy settings to make it easier for you to control what you share - with the social network and connected apps - and tools to delete the data it's collected on you. That decree required Facebook to provide users with notification when their data got accessed without explicit and direct permission. It's doubtful that changing the look of its settings page will do anything to calm down users who have been upset with the way the company has been handling its data.

Facebook's chief privacy officer, Erin Egan, said in a blog post that most of the privacy updates have been in the works for "some time, but the events of the past several days underscore their importance". You can also download all of your photos and videos posted to Facebook and delete your profile, and even erase some of the information that's shared with Facebook.

Facebook also said it plans to update its privacy policy and terms of service in the coming weeks, but gave no further details. Playboy says the alleged data mismanagement is the last straw.

Facebook's product marketing director Graham Mudd said in a statement that shutting down the feature over the next six months "will help improve people's privacy on Facebook".

Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is reportedly planning to testify before Congress in the coming weeks on how it came to be that Cambridge Analytica, a political data firm and consultation agency, could obtain information about tens of millions of Facebook users.

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Even though USA lawmakers have been vocal of Facebook in recent weeks, members of Congress have not formally pushed for any new data collection legislation.

Facebook's shares were up 1.2 per cent at $154 on Wednesday. Facebook has said it has received invitations to testify and that it is talking to legislators.

The news has prompted some users to quit the platform. But it does not affect how Facebook collects the data. Users can now download their Facebook data too. One of the panels, the Senate Judiciary Committee, also asked the leaders of Google and Twitter to join him at a hearing in April focused broadly on Silicon Valley's data privacy practices.

The US Federal Trade Commission this week said it had launched a probe into whether Facebook violated consumer protection laws or a 2011 court-approved agreement on protecting private user data.

"We've created a monster", said Juli Hinds, Ph.D., Medaille College communications and sports management assistant professor.

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