As a result of the recent revelations that showed the dark side of social media, Facebook on Wednesday announced some tweaks that are aiming to make privacy controls more handy for end users than before. The latest update from the Mark Zuckerberg-led team arrived in the aftermath of the data scandal that saw the misuse of personal data of millions of Facebook users. The company considers the new changes as "additional steps" that are rolling out in the coming weeks to give users more control of their privacy on its social network.
We're taking a closer look here at all the changes that Facebook is set to bring to privacy settings available to help you ensure your personal data is safe.
First in the series of changes is the redesigned settings menu that is aimed to make things easier to find. Instead of spreading settings across about 20 different screens, Facebook has now mingled all the options together in one single place. For instance, unlike the previous Accounts settings menu that had various headers such as General, Security and login, and Privacy, the updated Accounts settings menu will now include only three headers, namely Personal Information, Language, and Payments. Facebook has also notably "cleaned up" some outdated settings to make it clear "what information can and can't be shared with apps".
As the new changes are all about privacy, Facebook has added a new Privacy Shortcuts menu that will help you control your data in few taps instead of going deeper into settings or preferences. There are also clearer explanations about the operations of different controls. The new Privacy Shortcuts allow you to add more layers of protection to your account, including two-factor authentication. You can also review what information has been shared from your side; this could be the posts you've shared or reacted to, friend requests you've sent, or things you've searched for on Facebook. Essentially, you can call it as an upgrade of the original activity log that is available on your Facebook profile. Facebook has also provided an option to delete any of the past information directly from the available shortcut. Similarly, you can use the Privacy Shortcuts to manage the information Facebook uses to serve you targeted ads. There is also the option to let manage who sees your posts and profile information.
Apart from the updated settings menu on mobile devices and the addition of Privacy Shortcuts, Facebook has introduced a new tool called "Access Your information" that helps you access and manage your entire Facebook data, including posts, reactions, comments, and search queries. You can also use the same tool to delete any information from your timeline or profile. Likewise, there is an easier option to download the data that you've shared with Facebook. This data includes the photos you've uploaded, contacts you've added to your account, and posts available on your timeline among others. It is vital if you've planned to switch to a platform other than Facebook.
Facebook is also in development to propose updates to its terms of service as well as uplift its data policy to give clarity on what data it collects and how it has been used. These updates will take place in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, you can expect the new menus and settings to show up soon on your Facebook account.