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28 Mar 2018

Facebook announces new steps to protect users’ privacy

Facebook said Wednesday it will overhaul its privacy settings tools to put users “more in control” of their information on the social media website.

The updates include improved access to Facebook’s user settings and tools to easily search for, download and delete personal data stored by Facebook.

Meanwhile, a new privacy shortcuts menu will allow users to quickly increase account security, manage who can see their information and activity on the site and control advertisements they see.

“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,” chief privacy officer Erin Egan and deputy general counsel Ashlie Beringer said in a blog post.

“We’re taking additional steps in the coming weeks to put people more in control of their privacy,” they confirmed.

The new features follow fierce criticism after it was revealed millions of Facebook users’ personal data was harvested by a British firm linked to Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign — although Facebook said they have been “in the works for some time.”

Earlier this month, whistleblower Christopher Wylie revealed Cambridge Analytica created psychological profiles on 50 million Facebook users via a personality prediction app.

The app was downloaded by 270,000 people, but also scooped up their friends’ data without consent — as was possible under Facebook’s rules at the time.

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.

AFP

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