Monday, 24 September, 2018

Facebook is addressing data privacy ahead of GDPR

A 3D-printed Facebook logo is seen in front of the logo of the European Union in this Facebook logo in front of EU logo Thomson Reuters
Nellie Chapman | 29 January, 2018, 20:10

According to Sandberg, the changes give Facebook "a very good foundation to meet all the requirements" of the 28-member bloc's new data rules called the General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR, which apply to any company that keeps data on European Union citizens.

Under the GDPR data protection rules, companies such as Facebook will be expected to report data breaches within 72 hours and allow customers to export as well as delete their data.

As part of the privacy push, Facebook has also begun running short education videos in users' New Feeds that teach users how to delete old posts, explain what happens to user information when an account is deleted, and show how to manage data used for Facebook ads.

The social network says: "You own the information you share on Facebook". Facebook now promotes a more limited feature called Privacy Check-Up that gives you privacy controls over future posts, your profile's About Me section, and app preferences.

No longer tucked away in a discreet corner of the app, Facebook has launched an all-new set of privacy tools to help you control what people can and can't see on the site. "This means you decide what you share and who you share it with on Facebook, and you can change your mind", said Erin Egan, chief privacy officer at Facebook, in a blog post.

We work around the clock to help protect people's accounts, and we build security into every Facebook product.

Privacy was high on the agenda at a recent Facebook event in Brussels, where COO Sheryl Sandberg first announced the privacy education initiative. "We're designing this based on feedbak from people, policy-makers, and privacy experts around the world".

But Facebook won't be giving its more than 2 billion users any additional say over what it does with the mountains of personal information Facebook collects to target advertising. "It's important that you have choices when it comes to how your data is used". Facebook notes that it's accountable for maintaining privacy while also noting that it's a process of continuous improvement. The GDPR goes into effect May 25, and Facebook's roll-out of new measures shows it is at least seemingly trying to prepare for potential compliance complaints from the EU and its governing body, the European Commission, or avoid any accusations of violations in the first place.