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Facebook’s Compliance to Privacy Laws Offer New Privacy Protections to Users Across the World

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Recently, there have been announcements from Facebook regarding their steps to enhance user control of data and explain how Facebook uses it. Following a lot of lawsuits and controversies, Facebook’s compliance with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) required it to update its terms and data policy, and that includes users being allowed to review what data they share on this social media platform, irrespective of where they live.

In order to facilitate user review of data used, Facebook has put together an army of hundreds of employees across product, engineering, legal, policy, design, and research teams. An outside perspective on several grounds of formulation, including technical and legal, has been sought from experts in the fields of privacy, such as regulators and government officials, privacy experts, designers, and last but not least, the users and customers using Facebook services.

Users are asked to make choices on the following grounds –

1. Ads based on business partner data from partners.

Advertisements on Facebook use data from business partners, such as the websites and apps that use Facebook options as business tools. Users will be asked to review information about such advertising and allowed to choose the partner data to feature personalized ads.

2. User Profile Information.

For using all the political, religious, and relationship information already included on the user’s profile, Facebook will ask for permission. This already optional information is being made even easier to delete.

3. Allowance of face recognition technology.

Facebook’s face recognition features apparently help protect user privacy and provide improved experiences, such as detecting other users using one’s image as profile picture and friend suggestions. Although Facebook’s worldwide business of face recognition ran for more than six years, from now on, using face recognition is entirely optional for users.

The updated terms of service and data policy by Facebook include more detail about Facebook’s services and how they work. Users will be provided with these Facebook privacy choices for their agreement and feedback. No new rights to collect, use or share user data on Facebook are being asked of, and there’s an ongoing commitment to not using Facebook data for sale purposes. Albeit the global nature of these policies, the people who come under the GDPR will see relevant information, such as the contact details of the Data Protection Officer.

All these options will be made online for the EU this week before the GDPR comes into full swing on May 25, 2018. The rest of the world will benefit from these features in phases.

Better Tools for Accessing, Deleting, and Downloading Info:

The new Settings and Privacy Shortcuts features announced last month are now complete. The globally available recently-expanded tools for accessing user information will allow users to easily see their data, delete it, download and/or export it.

The recent update to Activity Log for mobile makes it easier for users to see and access the information they’ve shared on Facebook from their mobile devices.

As part of special protections and experiences for teens, advertising categories are more limited, and the default audience options for posts do not include “public.” Face recognition is kept off for anyone under the age of 18 years, as well as limited viewers for seeing or searching specific information like hometown or birthday. A new global online resource center specifically for teens will be unveiled later this year.

Every teenage user will be asked if they want to see ads based on data from partners and whether they want to include personal information in their profiles.

In their newsroom post outlining these features, Facebook has vowed to keep on improving in this regard.


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