Facebook to change privacy controls in wake of data row

The company's CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has repeatedly apologised and bought full-page advertisements in US and British newspapers promising to do more to restrict access to users' information.

The new Privacy Shortcuts menu, being rolled out in the coming weeks, will let people regulate the amount of personal information the social media giant keeps on them, like political preferences and interests, and delete things they've already shared.

The Cambridge Analytica scandal is still fresh and it seems as though Facebook is introducing these changes to regain the public's trust, as pointed out by The Next Web.

The company has faced a global outcry after a whistleblower said that data from millions of users was improperly harvested by consultancy Cambridge Analytica to target USA and British voters in close-run elections. Reasons cited are growing controversy over the privacy of user data after the partisan data-mining and the news that consulting firm Cambridge Analytica had gained access to 50 million Facebook user accounts without user permission.

'We're taking additional steps in the coming weeks to put people more in control of their privacy, ' they added.

The information includes categories like home ownership and purchase history and is collected by some of the world's largest data brokers such as Acxiom, Epsilon and Experian.

There is a new Facebook page - called Access Your Information - where users can see what they have shared and manage it.

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After that, a new update is being offered under the supervision of Erin Egan, Facebook's chief privacy officer.

Previously, Facebook had settings organised like an FAQ, with questions such as "who can see your future posts?" and "how do I stop someone from bothering me?"

In Facebook settings for your account, right below the link to deactivate it, there is an option to download a copy of all your Facebook data.

Facebook has completely redesigned its settings menu on smartphones and tablets.

A much-talked about feature in recent days, you're now able to pick what Facebook data you want to download. Facebook responded and noted users needed to opt-in to an agreement for their metadata to be accessed.

The company is also working with regulators and privacy experts on updates to its terms of services and its data policy to make them more transparent.

"The past decade shows that user concerns over privacy appear to have little teeth on changing how the platform behaves, aside from a recycling of contrite statements and promises to do better from its CEO", she said.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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