Facebook changes its privacy setting: What you need to know

Alicia Cross
March 29, 2018

Facebook's battered shares, which have dropped 17% in the past week and a half amid the Cambridge Analytica scandal, have gotten off to a strong start this morning after the company announced changes to its privacy settings.

"We're taking additional steps in the coming weeks to put people more in control of their privacy", Facebook said.

In response to multiple inquiries from lawmakers and pushback from some users, Facebook said in a March 28 blog post that it's changing the settings screen to make it easier for users to gain control of their information or delete their data.

Facebook has completely redesigned its settings menu on smartphones and tablets.

The company says the changes will be rolled out in the coming weeks and will involve condensing all the various security menus - that are now spread out over 20 different screens - into one easy to manage tab on the Facebook menu.

"Facebook's bug bounty program will expand so that people can also report to us if they find misuses of data by app developers", Ime Archibong, Facebook's director of platform partnerships, said Monday.

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Adjustments to the tools will make it easier for users to find and adjust their privacy settings, the company said.

Since 2006, Facebook has repeatedly promised to safeguard users' data through redesigns and by putting privacy controls front and center. Facebook also will clarify what types of apps people are now using and what permissions those apps have to gather their information.

From the new centralized page, people will be able to opt out of sharing certain traits - for example, they can indicate that they no longer want to be identified as someone who loves cats.

Lastly, its privacy shortcuts page now has more visuals and explanations for what each option does.

The changes won't affect Facebook's privacy policies or the types of data it gathers on users. The new "Access Your Information" menu will let users access and manage their information, including posts, reaction, comments and even things that they've searched for. In summary, these changes purported to give users more control over what other users, advertisers and connected applications could and could not see on profiles and, for the first time, claimed it would consolidate all the settings on one page, just as it did on Wednesday. A Facebook user discovered that the social media giant has been keeping extensive records about texts and calls he made on his Android smartphone. Facebook admits to the behavior but says it had permission to do so.

Make your account more secure: You can add more layers of protection to your account, like two-factor authentication. While the social network says you can move this information to another service, it didn't specify whether you'll be able to delete it.

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