Facebook Speeding Up Privacy Control Updates In Wake Of Data Scandal

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Facebook executives Erin Egan, VP and chief privacy officer, policy, and Ashlie Beringer, VP and deputy general counsel. announced in a blog post on Wednesday (March 28) that the social media company is speeding up updates that gives its billions of users more control over their privacy in the wake of the latest data scandal at the company.

In the post, the executives said while many of the updates that will be released in next few weeks were already in the works for awhile, the scandal with Cambridge Analytica has increased the company’s sense of urgency.

“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,” Egan and Beringer wrote. “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.”

In order to accomplish this, Facebook is making data settings and tools easier for users to locate on the social media platform. The executives said Facebook has redesigned the settings menu on mobile devices so that privacy settings are easier to find and in one single place. The company also cleaned up outdated settings so it’s clearer what can and can’t be shared via apps.

Facebook said it will roll out a new privacy shortcuts menu, which enables users to control their data in a few taps. The menu provides more transparent explanations of how the controls work. From the menu, users can make their accounts more secure by adding layers of protection, including two-factor authentication. Users will also be able to review what was shared on their page with the option to delete things, including posts that were shared and reacted to, friend requests and things that were searched for on Facebook. Additionally, users will be able to manage the information Facebook uses to show customized ads, as well as determine who can see their posts and who can view their profile information.

The moves come after it was revealed more than a week ago that Cambridge Analytica — which worked on President Donald Trump’s campaign — was able to access the data of 50 million Facebook users without their knowledge or consent.

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