Facebook to Streamline Privacy Settings in Wake of Cambridge Analytica Scandal

Saturday, 31 Mar, 2018

Facebook has also removed some of the outdated settings to help make it clear what information can and can't be shared with apps. After surging to a 52-week high of $195 in January, shares have retreated to levels where they traded last July. A spokeswoman told the Associated Press that Facebook uses the information to rank contacts in Messenger so they are easier to find, and to suggest people to call.

The new features make data settings more prominent and easy to find in hopes of encouraging users to be more proactive in protecting their information.

Following news that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has agreed to testify in front of Congress about the company's data scandal, stock prize of the tech company has dropped by 5%.

Among the changes is a new Privacy Shortcuts menu where the user can control the data "in just a few taps". Additional security options, including "two-factor authentication", have also been implemented.

In its blog post, Facebook claims many of these changes have been in the works for a while and that regulators, legislators and privacy experts were consulted during the process.

If you're anxious about what personal information Facebook has gathered on you, there's a way to find it and delete it. While this download was already possible, it took some time to figure out how to do it. Cox said the changes let people browse through their information in detail, without having to download it. That included information on friends of people who had downloaded a psychological quiz app, even though those friends hadn't given explicit consent to sharing. It would also allow users to review and delete data they have shared, including posts and search queries.

Facebook is in damage control mode as it deals with the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

It follows criticism of the site after it emerged data from 50 million users had been harvested by political consultancy Cambridge Analytica. These updates, the company insists, "are about transparency - not about gaining new rights to collect, use, or share date".

Facebook's United Kingdom head of policy Rebecca Simon said: "Facebook fully recognises the level of public and Parliamentary interest in these issues and support your belief that these issues must be addressed at the most senior levels of the company by those in an authoritative position to answer your questions".