Facebook to give users more control over personal data

Social media major is redesigning its settings menu and will allow users to have greater control over their data.
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Facebook on Wednesday announced that it will make privacy settings and tools easier to find.

Facebook on Wednesday announced that it will make privacy settings and tools easier to find.

Facebook on Wednesday announced that it will make privacy settings and tools easier to find, in the wake of a data leak that exposed the data of millions of Americans and ahead of a new European data protection law that will take effect in May. 

The decision to implement these changes by the social media giant comes in the wake of a scandal over a breach that exposed the personal information of millions and was allegedly used by a political consultancy. “It’s Time to Make Our Privacy Tools Easier to Find”, Facebook said.

A comparison of Facebook's old settings menu (left) and new settings menu (right).

A comparison of Facebook's old settings menu (left) and new settings menu (right).

“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,” wrote Erin Egan, Facebook’s VP and Chief Privacy Officer, Policy and Ashlie Beringer, VP and Deputy General Counsel. “Most of these updates have been in the works for some time, but the events of the past several days underscore their importance.”

To recall, Zuckerberg and his team have faced a global uproar after a whistleblower alleged that data from millions of users was inappropriately used by London-based Cambridge Analytica to target British and US voters. “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,” Egan, and Beringer noted in the company’s blog.

In addition to redesigning its settings menu on mobile devices, the social networking major indicated that is has created a new privacy shortcut menu where users will be able to control and secure their data in “just a few taps”. In addition, the company has pledged that users will now be able to also control the ads they see and manage who sees their posts and profile information. Likewise, Facebook noted that users will be able to download the data shared with Facebook, including uploaded photos, contacts added to their account, and posts on timelines.