Facebook overhauls its privacy tools and makes them easier to find

Facebook contact icon

Facebook has redesigned its privacy tools to put you more in control of your data.

“We’ve redesigned our entire settings menu on mobile devices from top to bottom to make things easier to find“, said the firm on Wednesday. Indeed, what used to be spread across nearly 20 different screens is now accessible from a single place.

A new Privacy Shortcuts menu couples features concerning privacy, security and ads with clearer explanations of how privacy controls work. And to make it perfectly clear what information can and cannot be shared with apps, they’ve also cleaned up “outdated settings”.

A comparison of the old settings menu, at left, and the overhauled menu, at right.

The overhauled Privacy Shortcuts menu allows you to:

  • Make your account more secure: You can add more layers of protection to your account, like two-factor authentication. If you turn this on and someone tries to log into your account from a device we don’t recognize, you’ll be asked to confirm whether it was you.
  • Control your personal information: You can review what you’ve shared and delete it if you want to. This includes posts you’ve shared or reacted to, friend requests you’ve sent and things you’ve searched for on Facebook.
  • Control the ads you see: You can manage the information we use to show you ads. Ad preferences explains how ads work and the options you have.
  • Manage who sees your posts and profile information: You own what you share on Facebook and you can manage things like who sees your posts and the information you choose to include on your profile.

At the same time, tools to download your Facebook data are now easier to use and pack new features like the ability to download a secure copy of your Facebook data or move this data to another service, including your photos, contacts, posts on your timeline and more.

TUTORIAL: How to download an archive of your Facebook account data

Another new tool, Access Your Information, lets you see, manage and delete your information like posts, reactions, comments and things you’ve searched for on Facebook.

Whether this will be enough to help Facebook weather this storm remains to be seen.

Lastly, they’ll be updating the site’s terms of service in the coming weeks with more detailed information on how they collect and use your data. “These updates are about transparency—not about gaining new rights to collect, use, or share data,” the company underscored.

TUTORIAL: How to permanently delete your Facebook account

Late Apple CEO Steve Jobs tried to warn Mark Zuckerberg about privacy in 2010. Here’s what privacy is all about and what it means to Apple, in Steve’s own words.

As you know, the social network is facing a crisis following revelations that data-mining political consultancy Cambridge Analytica took advantage of the platform’s lax app permissions to gather data on undecided US voters via an inconspicuous quizz app.