Facebook Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan and Deputy General Counsel Ashlie Beringer on Wednesday wrote "it's time" for the world's largest social media platform to make its privacy tools more easily discoverable. The duo outlined a number of steps the firm is taking to achieve that goal, having related them to the recent data privacy controversy involving Facebook and political consulting company Cambridge Analytica which was accused of harvesting user data of approximately 50 million Facebook users in 2014 without obtaining consent to do so from the vast majority of them.
Among the new changes is a redesigned mobile settings menu that will allow Facebook app users on Android and iOS to access all relevant privacy controls from a single hub instead of having them scattered throughout over a dozen of other screens, depending on the functionality of the social network pertaining to particular privacy settings. The new Privacy Shortcuts menu is meant to address the majority of those concerns, providing Facebook users with a straightforward list of controls for adjusting how much data they want other apps and the service itself to collect, up to a certain point. The hub also comes with advertising settings allowing users to have a degree of control over what kind of ads they're being served based on their usage data. A new Access Your Information tab will soon start providing users with a simple method of identifying the kind of data Facebook has on them and deleting it if they choose to do so.
The new features will be rolled out to Facebook users on a global level over the coming days and come shortly after co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg already pledged to restrict the amount of data third parties are able to access through Facebook. The Menlo Park-based company saw tens of billions of dollars of its market capitalization erased over the course of the last ten days and is presently the subject of several government probes in the U.S. and EU over the Cambridge Analytica scandal, with the "#DeleteFacebook" movement still trending online.