Facebook Details Revamped Privacy Tools to Put Users 'More in Control' of Their Data

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Following revelations that emerged last week about Facebook's misuse of user data, the company today said it has "heard loud and clear" that it needs to make it easier for users to know how to control their own privacy settings and data. These updates to Facebook mobile and on the web "have been in the works for some time," according to Facebook chief privacy officer Erin Egan, "but the events of the past several days underscore their importance."

The first update is found in a redesigned settings menu on mobile devices, so instead of settings that are spread across "nearly 20 different screens," they're all in one place. This area is also now cleaned up so outdated menus are gone and it's more clear what user information can and can't be shared with apps.

The old settings menu (left) and new settings menu (right)


A new Privacy Shortcuts menu launches users into an area where they can look at information regarding privacy, security, and ads "in just a few taps." This menu is also now clearer, has more visuals, and provides simple explanations for how each control option works. Below you'll find a breakdown of everything you can do when jumping into Privacy Shortcuts:
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 we don'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 we use to show you ads. Ad preferences explains 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.
In a new area called Access Your Information, users can access and manage data -- like posts, timeline memories, items on a profile, reactions, comments, and items searched for -- so that it can be easily deleted. Facebook said it's also making it easier to download the data shared on the site. Users can download a secure copy of photos uploaded, contacts, timeline posts, and more, "and even move it to another service."


Next, the company said that it plans to update its terms of service with the inclusion of "commitments to people," as well as update its data policy to "better spell out" what data is collected and how it's used. In total, Facebook said that all of these updates are about transparency, and "not about gaining new rights to collect, use, or share data."

Apple CEO Tim Cook this past weekend described the Facebook scandal as "dire," calling for stronger privacy regulations in the wake of news that data firm Cambridge Analytica amassed data on 50 million Facebook users without their consent and targeted messages to voters during the 2016 presidential election. Facebook has now delayed the launch of its own entry into the smart speaker market, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is set to testify in front of Congress on privacy in the coming weeks.

Article Link: Facebook Details Revamped Privacy Tools to Put Users 'More in Control' of Their Data
 

macaddict06

macrumors regular
To Facebook personal data = profits. They will never give you tools to get in the way of their bottom line.

Any changes they ever make will only be to provide a false sense of security so that people are more willing to share data and Facebook profits more.

This is how you turn a disaster into added profit. Facebook will be better off financially because of this leak.
 

democracyrules

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Nov 18, 2016
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Following revelations that emerged last week about Facebook's misuse of user data, the company today said it has "heard loud and clear" that it needs to make it easier for users to know how to control their own privacy settings and data. These updates to Facebook mobile and on the web "have been in the works for some time," according to Facebook chief privacy officer Erin Egan, "but the events of the past several days underscore their importance."

The first update is found in a redesigned settings menu on mobile devices, so instead of settings that are spread across "nearly 20 different screens," they're all in one place. This area is also now cleaned up so outdated menus are gone and it's more clear what user information can and can't be shared with apps.


The old settings menu (left) and new settings menu (right)


A new Privacy Shortcuts menu launches users into an area where they can look at information regarding privacy, security, and ads "in just a few taps." This menu is also now clearer, has more visuals, and provides simple explanations for how each control option works. Below you'll find a breakdown of everything you can do when jumping into Privacy Shortcuts:
In a new area called Access Your Information, users can access and manage data -- like posts, timeline memories, items on a profile, reactions, comments, and items searched for -- so that it can be easily deleted. Facebook said it's also making it easier to download the data shared on the site. Users can download a secure copy of photos uploaded, contacts, timeline posts, and more, "and even move it to another service."


Next, the company said that it plans to update its terms of service with the inclusion of "commitments to people," as well as update its data policy to "better spell out" what data is collected and how it's used. In total, Facebook said that all of these updates are about transparency, and "not about gaining new rights to collect, use, or share data."

Apple CEO Tim Cook this past weekend described the Facebook scandal as "dire," calling for stronger privacy regulations in the wake of news that data firm Cambridge Analytica amassed data on 50 million Facebook users without their consent and targeted messages to voters during the 2016 presidential election. Facebook has now delayed the launch of its own entry into the smart speaker market, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is set to testify in front of Congress on privacy in the coming weeks.

Article Link: Facebook Details Revamped Privacy Tools to Put Users 'More in Control' of Their Data
It is nice FaceBook protects the privacy of their users while it is not expected as they are not banking, insurance, a financial institution, a commercial company or any type of companies who are regulated for consumer protections due to sensitive information of their customer they are holding. Facebook is a “social pleasure” internet site that does not need to have sensitive information held. All their users are uploading their information including personal or pictures to ‘share’ with others. Uploading any information to internet sites are or should never expected to be private. Hence, leaks are expected especially from a social pleasure internet site like Facebook. Hence, this action is not smart and all Facebook users take their own risks of their information ‘voluntarily’ be exposed knowingly or unknowingly. Facebook should not be blamed for any leaks of their users’ information. Their users get the blames. Fortunate for me and those who do not have a Facebook account as we minimize the risks of exposing our information to the world.
 
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Argus9

macrumors newbie
Mar 15, 2018
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Ah, a complicated, crowded menu to join the rest of Facebook's complicated, crowded menus. Maybe Facebook is hoping users give up in frustration and keep their settings as-is.
 
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ArtOfWarfare

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Nov 26, 2007
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What exactly is anyone saying Facebook did wrong?

I'd say that managing this stuff is complicated, and I give credit to Facebook for offering some rather clear controls with making information available, to "Public", "Friends", "Friends of Friends" and then having options to set up custom groups where you could more precisely define who could see it.

I set up everything the way I like it. I'm aware that "Friends of Friends" is basically public and that I have little control over who can actually see it, and I'm okay with that.

I feel like people are confused about what information was collected and assume it was all collected against their will or something, and that they're either (#1) mistaken in what was actually collected, or they're (#2) mistaken about the privacy settings they chose. And I think #1 is most likely - people are just angry for no reason, and the entire story is pretty much fabricated.
 
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NervousFish2

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Mar 23, 2014
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Facebook users take their own risks of their information ‘voluntarily’ be exposed knowingly or unknowingly. Facebook should not be blamed for any leaks of their users’ information. Their users get the blames. Fortunate for me and those who do not have a Facebook account as we minimize the risks of exposing our information to the world.
What a load of twaddle. Facebook is not just a social pleasure. It has become a de facto public good. And, last time I checked, we live in a democracy (and for those of us who don’t, we mostly aspire to). So, despite the fact that it is privately owned, the reality is that Facebook users have rights, if they build a political movement to demand those rights. That’s how rights work! Facebook knows this. And they’d be fools not to get their affairs in order.
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What exactly is anyone saying Facebook did wrong? ... I feel like people are confused about what information was collected and assume it was all collected against their will or something, and that they're either (#1) mistaken in what was actually collected, or they're (#2) mistaken about the privacy settings they chose. And I think #1 is most likely - people are just angry for no reason, and the entire story is pretty much fabricated.
What’s wrong is that an academic researcher scraped data at a massive step of remove from the users he was supposed to studying, and then sold that data to a political firm that specializes in ‘fixing’ public opinion. This was a violation of Facebook terms. And users were never told that this could happen.
 

ArtOfWarfare

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Nov 26, 2007
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What’s wrong is that an academic researcher scraped data at a massive step of remove from the users he was supposed to studying, and then sold that data to a political firm that specializes in ‘fixing’ public opinion. This was a violation of Facebook terms. And users were never told that this could happen.
What sharing settings had the user set? If A and B are users who are Facebook friends, and A says data can be shared with friends of friends, and C is an app that asked for permission to be "friendly" with B, then C has access to that data on A. What's the problem here? "Friends of friends" may as well be "a random subset of everyone" - it's not like you're going to monitor your entire friend list to make sure none of them are making dubious choices of friends.
 

69Mustang

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Jan 7, 2014
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In between a rock and a hard place
What sharing settings had the user set? If A and B are users who are Facebook friends, and A says data can be shared with friends of friends, and C is an app that asked for permission to be "friendly" with B, then C has access to that data on A. What's the problem here? "Friends of friends" may as well be "a random subset of everyone" - it's not like you're going to monitor your entire friend list to make sure none of them are making dubious choices of friends.
If you and I are friends on FB, you can't give a 3rd party app permission to scrape my personal information. FB 3rd party permission settings allowed that to happen. I am pretty sure you and most everyone else was unaware.
That's the issue in a nutshell.
 

TMRJIJ

macrumors 68040
Dec 12, 2011
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What exactly is anyone saying Facebook did wrong?
This:
that Facebook is facing immense scrutiny for its involvement with consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, which itself has been tied to President Trump's 2016 election campaign. According to recent reports, the firm improperly amassed information from 50 million Facebook users without their consent and used that data to "target messages to voters."

In the wake of these reports, investigations have been opened into Facebook's actions and several politicians have asked Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify about the events. A new "#DeleteFacebook" campaign has now launched on Twitter, which WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton took part in. Facebook owns WhatsApp, but Acton left the company earlier in 2018 to start his own non-profit organization.

A Facebook spokesperson mentioned that the company was "deceived" by Cambridge Analytica and didn't know about its actions. One Facebook shareholder, Fan Yuan, has filed a lawsuit against the company alleging it had some knowledge of Cambridge Analytica's data siphoning and made "materially false and/or misleading" claims regarding the company's handling of user data.
 

arefbe

macrumors 6502
Sep 11, 2010
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Or at least give users the illusion that they're more in control of their data.
 

avanpelt

macrumors 68030
Jun 2, 2010
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How many times has Facebook revamped its privacy controls? I am pretty sure this isn't the first time.
 

ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
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If you and I are friends on FB, you can't give a 3rd party app permission to scrape my personal information. FB 3rd party permission settings allowed that to happen. I am pretty sure you and most everyone else was unaware.
That's the issue in a nutshell.
There'd be 2 steps to it:
1 - I approved the app.
2 - You set the data to "Friends of Friends" or "Public".

Quite frankly, #2 is an artificial limitation. I could always write a screen scraper that people install on their computers (no Facebook approval necessary) and then have that collect the data.

You invited me to be your friend, and I allowed that app access to what I have access to. It's no different than you telling me something about yourself and me repeating it. If you didn't want it shared, you shouldn't have told me it. Once someone else knows your secret, it's not a secret anymore.
 

69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
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In between a rock and a hard place
There'd be 2 steps to it:
1 - I approved the app.
2 - You set the data to "Friends of Friends" or "Public".

Quite frankly, #2 is an artificial limitation. I could always write a screen scraper that people install on their computers (no Facebook approval necessary) and then have that collect the data.

You invited me to be your friend, and I allowed that app access to what I have access to. It's no different than you telling me something about yourself and me repeating it. If you didn't want it shared, you shouldn't have told me it. Once someone else knows your secret, it's not a secret anymore.
Your reasoning is flawed. You give the app access. I don't give the app access. I have my data set to Friends. But by virtue of being your friend, my wishes are circumvented. So yes, it's completely different. The analogy fails. Me telling you something about me doesn't give you license to let someone else harvest all the rest of my personal information.
 

JosephAW

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May 14, 2012
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Another reason to own an iPhone iOS because their app was snooping on android devices.
 

lederermc

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Sep 30, 2014
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Ah, a complicated, crowded menu to join the rest of Facebook's complicated, crowded menus. Maybe Facebook is hoping users give up in frustration and keep their settings as-is.
What we want is "Delete everything except friend links" Button.
 

fairuz

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Aug 27, 2017
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I feel like people are confused about what information was collected and assume it was all collected against their will or something, and that they're either (#1) mistaken in what was actually collected, or they're (#2) mistaken about the privacy settings they chose. And I think #1 is most likely - people are just angry for no reason, and the entire story is pretty much fabricated.
All of this is true with one exception, the fact that FB Messenger on Android was just exposed as full-fledged spyware recording the phone's call and text history (i.e. not calls/texts made in the app). This was last Monday, and it was the first time I was upset with FB.
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Privacy policy allows for that too.