How to use Facebook's new privacy settings

Mindy Sparks
March 28, 2018

The changes come amid allegations that the British consultancy Cambridge Analytica improperly gained access to Facebook users' information to build profiles of American voters that were later used to help elect U.S. President Donald Trump in 2016. But the company hopes its 2.2 billion users will have an easier time navigating its complex and often confusing privacy and security settings.

Users will also be able to manage the information Facebook utilises to serve them ads and download the data they have shared with Facebook - including photos, contacts and posts - and move it to another service. That included information on friends of people who had downloaded a psychological quiz app, even though those friends hadn't given explicit consent to sharing.

"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", Erin Egan, vice president and chief privacy officer of policy, and Ashlie Beringer, vice president and deputy general counsel, wrote in a company blog post.

Egan and Beringer also announced updates to Facebook's terms of service and data policy to improve transparency about how the site collects and uses data.


As part of Wednesday's privacy changes, Facebook redesigned its settings menu on mobile devices so that privacy options are available in a single place, rather than spread out across almost 20 different screens. Now, Facebook says they will be accessible from a single place.

A message seeking comment from Facebook on Wednesday was not immediately returned.

The EU General Data Protection Regulation enters into force on May 25 and requires companies to give people a "right to portability", namely to take their data with them. They apply to any company that collects data on European Union residents, no matter where it is based. Facebook also will clarify what types of apps people are now using and what permissions those apps have to gather their information. While this download was already possible, it took some time to figure out how to do it. Cox said the changes let people browse through their information in detail, without having to download it.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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