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After 14 years of existence, Facebook makes privacy tools easier to locate

Finally.

facebook privacy tools
Image: Facebook Newsroom

It’s safe to say that people aren’t very happy with Facebook right now. Celebrities and tech stars alike are calling for users to #DeleteFacebook, with recent notables including Will Ferrell and Playboy.

Between Cambridge Analytica and Android call and SMS logging, normal users are starting to vocalize more concerns with the social network. Meanwhile, the company seemed somewhat dismissive of some of these issues in their damage control blog post from Sunday where they basically said that users agreed to all of this. They’re not wrong, but the extent of which the data (especially with Android) that was shared is definitely a grey area.

Facebook is trying, however. Announced this morning, Facebook is making privacy tools way more transparent and easy to find. The blog posts states that these changes have been in the works for some time now, but honestly, that is a mute point – own up to that fact that it was buried deep in the settings and that your everyday user had no idea the settings existed or the extent at which their data was being used. They are also launching a new “Access your information” page which should give users a greater understanding (and more control) of the data that is being collected through the app.

facebook privacy

Image: Facebook

Here are some of the privacy shortcuts Facebook is making more accessible to users: 

  • Make your account more secure: You can add more layers of protection to your account, like two-factor authentication. If you turn this on and someone tries to log into your account from a device Facebook doesn’t recognize, you’ll be asked to confirm whether it was you.
  • Control your personal information: You can review what you’ve shared and delete it if you want to. This includes posts you’ve shared or reacted to, friend requests you’ve sent, and things you’ve searched for on Facebook.
  • Control the ads you see: You can manage the information Facebook uses to show you ads. Ad preferences explain how ads work and the options you have.
  • Manage who sees your posts and profile information: You own what you share on Facebook, and you can manage things like who sees your posts and the information you choose to include on your profile.

I do think it is important to note here that Facebook is most certainly not the only platform that uses your data for profit. Free social platforms use your data to sell ad space. Remember, if the service is free and provides something for you at no cost, you are not the customer, but the product.

If anything, this Facebook snafu has brought something very important to light – most users simply have no idea how their data on these platforms are being used and in 2018 that is something that needs to be addressed.

How do you feel about Facebook making these privacy tools easier to find? Has the damage been done? Let us know what you’re thinking in the comments below! 

Senior Editor with a focus on all things tech and gaming. Life Adventurer. You can keep up with me on Twitter: @Josiah_Motley

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