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Facebook scandal stirs privacy concerns for millions of users

30 March, 2018, 00:29 | Author: Janis Wilson
  • Facebook scraped call, text message data for years from Android phones

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has snubbed an invitation to testify before a British parliamentary committee into the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

"This doesn't change any of the data that Facebook's actually collecting", said Kurt Wagner, senior editor at Recode.

And as the platform continues to firefight the fallout of the scandal, it's launching new settings and privacy pages to make it easier to find information you've given to the company. Facebook has announced that it is making it easier to find its privacy tools and menu. The social media company says the new layout will streamline the settings into one location "instead of having settings spread across almost 20 different screens".

Whether these changes will be enough to mollify the concerns of privacy experts, lawmakers and the FTC, is anyone's guess. From the new setting page, people will be able to delete specific things they've shared or liked in the past, stopping advertisers from having access to that information.

Facebook's new hardware products, connected speakers with digital-assistant and video-chat capabilities, are undergoing a deeper review to ensure that they make the right trade-offs regarding user data, according to people familiar with the matter.

"Facebook has been called upon to give their response by 7.4.2018", the statement read further.

More news: Google acquires Tenor to make GIFs mainstream in its image search

You can also download a copy of all the data Facebook has on you. Facebook says it is also adding "clearer explanations" about how its privacy controls work.

The development follows the discovery of serious data breaches involving tens of millions of Facebook users.

Over the years, Facebook has been pretty open about the fact it collects people's data. Settings, which had previously been separated by asking questions like "How do I stop someone from bothering me?", are now divided into security, personal information, ads you see and management of who sees your posts and profile information.

In a blog post titled "It's Time to Make Our Privacy Tools Easier to Find", the company "reminds" users how to do things like secure their account, control personal information, choose which ads are displayed, and manage who can view their posts and profile.

Facebook, in the coming weeks also plans to update its terms of service and data policy to better explain how much and how is the data used by Facebook. This allows users to delete content from their Facebook as they see fit, even old posts they've published to their Timeline.

The crisis also threatens the Silicon Valley tech industry whose business model revolves around data collected on Internet users. Once you request the files, Facebook will send two emails.

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