Facebook has introduced a set of changes designed to empower members to protect their account information. The company has been at the center of an unrelenting firestorm following revelations that it allowed Cambridge Analytica to mine private data belonging to 50 million of its users without permission, which Cambridge Analytica then leveraged for political purposes.
Facebook on Wednesday outlined new ways for users to adjust privacy settings on their accounts in an online post written by Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan and General Counsel Ashlie Beringer.
Facebook’s redesigned privacy settings for mobile devices allow users to make changes on a single screen. The company’s new privacy shortcuts menu lets users add two-factor authentication, quickly review and delete shared information, manage ad preferences, and manage who can see profile information and posts.
Facebook also introduced Access Your Information, a feature that allows users to go through their timeline or profile information and delete anything they don’t want on the site.
Further, Facebook has made it easy for users to download their information securely and even move it to another service. The downloadable info includes photos posted by users, posts made by users, and contacts added to user accounts.
Facebook will propose updates to its terms of service during the next few weeks and make changes to its data policy to clarify what it shares, Egan and Beringer wrote.
Both U.S. and European authorities have announced investigations into Facebook’s data sharing. Tom Pahl, acting director of the FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection earlier this week took the rare step of publicly announcing that it was investigating Facebook over the data disclosures.
Companies that reach settlements with the FTC must comply with FTC order provisions that impose privacy and data security requirements, he noted.
Facebook in 2011 entered into a data privacy agreement with the FTC as part of a consent order, and the commission should enforce the terms of that deal, according to the Electronic Privacy Information Center and other privacy advocates.