Facebook privacy settings revamped after data leak by Cambridge Analytica

Posted March 29, 2018

The data leak has raised investor concerns that any failure by big tech companies to protect privacy could deter advertisers - Facebook's lifeblood - and lead to tougher regulation. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's chief executive, has agreed to appear in front of lawmakers on Capitol Hill next month, people familiar with the decision have said.

Processes that would normally require navigating confusing settings interfaces should be accessible with a few taps, including setting up two-factor authentication, deleting your personal information, and turning off ad targeting.

It has since been facing new questions about collecting phone numbers and text messages from Android devices.

The mobile settings page prior to the redesign, at left, and after it, at right.

Facebook listed four steps users can take from the new "Privacy Shortcuts" page: make your account more secure, control your personal information, control the ads you see, and manage who sees your posts and profile information.

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The company announced the changes in a blog post bearing the straight-shooting headline "It's Time to Make Our Privacy Settings Easier to Find".

Facebook Inc has adjusted privacy settings to give users more control over their information in a few taps, it said on Wednesday (March 28), after an outcry over a whistleblower's allegations that members' data was used to sway the 2016 U.S. election.

The new controls will be easier to find and use, Facebook said, with all settings now available to access in a single place rather than spread across almost 20 different screens.

The post also said: "We've worked with regulators, legislators and privacy experts on these tools and updates".

As Facebook's data scandal continues to weigh on the company's stock price and the public expresses weariness over its commitment to protecting users, the social network announced a redesign aimed at streamlining and improving its privacy settings.

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"We're also making it easier to download the data you've shared with Facebook - it's your data, after all".

What's also been made simpler, Facebook claims, is how users decide what data can and can't be shared with applications.

From the new centralized page, people will be able to opt out of sharing certain traits - for example, they can indicate that they no longer want to be identified as someone who loves cats. The company will also inform people when apps are removed due to data misuse, he said.

The London-based political research organisation, which collaborated with the election campaign of Donald Trump in the runup to the 2016 U.S. vote, used the leaked information to develop a computer programme to predict the decisions of United States voters and influence them.

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