Facebook Revamped Its Privacy Tools in Its Latest Move to Pacify Users

The new Access Your Information tool is part of the update

Facebook's new Access Your Information tool Facebook
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Facebook’s efforts to save face after the Cambridge Analytica data scandal continued with Wednesday’s announcement of a cleanup of its privacy tools.

Vice president and chief privacy officer Erin Egan and vp and deputy general counsel Ashlie Beringer announced in a Newsroom post that Facebook took several steps to make its privacy settings easier for users to find, adding, “Most of these updates have been in the works for some time, but the events of the past several days underscore their importance.”

Facebook thoroughly revamped the settings menu on its flagship mobile applications, making all settings available via a single screen instead of nearly 20 different ones, as well as removing outdated settings. The old (left) and new (right) settings menus are pictured below.

And the social network added a Privacy Shortcuts menu, where users can:

  • Add more layers of security to their accounts, such as two-factor authentication.
  • Review everything they have shared—including posts they have shared or reacted to, sent friend requests and Facebook searches—and delete anything they choose to.
  • Access Ad Preferences in order to control they types of ads they see and learn about how ads work and the options available to them.
  • Control who sees their posts and information on their profiles.

Facebook also introduced Access Your Information (pictured at the top of this post), a tool enabling users to access and manage their information on the social network, including posts, Reactions, comments and searches.

Finally, Egan and Beringer said Facebook is making it easier for users to download a secure copy of data they have shared via the social network and move it to other services, including photos, contacts, posts and other content.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg also posted about Wednesday’s updates.

Egan and Beringer wrote, “It’s also our responsibility to tell you how we collect and use your data in language that’s detailed, but also easy to understand. In the coming weeks, we’ll be proposing updates to Facebook’s terms of service that include our commitments to people. We’ll also update our data policy to better spell out what data we collect and how we use it. These updates are about transparency—not about gaining new rights to collect, use, or share data. We’ve worked with regulators, legislators and privacy experts on these tools and updates. We’ll have more to share in the coming weeks.”

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.