Facebook is untangling the mess that is its privacy settings and tools, by making it a lot easier for users to find privacy controls and easier to understand how Facebook handles their data.
Facebook has had a tough week or two, with a lot happening to dampen user trust in the way it handles their personal data. In light of the recent revelations and breaches of user privacy, Facebook is putting a lot more effort in both enforcing its policies and helping people understand how Facebook deals with their data. One thing that the company has heard over and over again, is that “privacy settings and other important tools are too hard to find.” So, in addition to cracking down on abuse of its platform, Facebook is making it easier for users to revoke apps’ access to their data. Furthermore, it’s making it easier for users to find their data privacy controls.
The change comes as a redesign of the settings menu on mobile, making things easier to find. Now, instead of trying to find settings on many screens, they are all accessible in one place. Outdated settings have also been cleaned up.
Now, there is also a new “Privacy Shortcuts menu,” to control data in just a few taps. Explanations found there – on how things work – are also clearer. Facebook says that the “experience is now clearer, more visual, and easy-to-find.” What do you think? Look at the before and after screenshot below, to compare.
From the new menu, you can make your account more secure by add more layers of protection (i.e. two-factor authentication), control your personal information by reviewing what you’ve shared (and delete it if you want), and control the ads you see on Facebook, by managing the information Facebook uses to show you those ads. Finally, you can manage who sees what on your profile and choose what information others can see about you.
You will also now get several tools that will allow you to “find, download and delete your Facebook data.” You might want to delete posts from the past, or just see what you’ve posted. Facebook is introducing “Access Your Information” giving you access to your information and the ability to manage it. And that means being able to download it easily as well – whether it’s “photos you’ve uploaded, contacts you’ve added to your account, posts on your timeline, and more.”
In the next few weeks, Facebook will also be making updates to its T&Cs to include its “commitments” to its users. Facebook’s data policy will also be updated further, to make sure people can better understand it.