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ICYMI: Privacy Review Alerts Are Headed to Your Facebook Feed

Tech

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You’ll be able to review details about how your data is used across ad targeting, facial recognition, and more.

Heads up Facebook users—per an official Newsroom blog post, the social media company is starting to send alerts in the News Feed to prompt you to update your privacy settings.

“After updating our data policy and making our privacy controls easier to find, we’re now showing people an alert as they visit News Feed so they can review details about advertising, face recognition, and information they’ve chosen to share in their profile,” stated Erin Egan, Chief Privacy Officer and author of the post.

Per the announcement, the move follows the introduction of “similar experiences” recently rolled out in the European Union in order to prepare for, and comply with, the new General Data Protection regulation.

Specifically, the customized prompts will detail:

  • How it uses data from partners to show more relevant advertising
  • Political, religious, and relationship information you’ve chosen to include on your profile
  • How it uses face recognition, including for features that help protect your privacy
  • Updates to its terms of service and data policy (announced this past April)

Here’s what the alerts will look like in action:

 

Egan also adds that while you’ll see a summary of previous choices made in the past, you won’t see information about features you’ve already disabled or chosen to opt out of completely. “For example, if you’ve already disabled face recognition or ads based on data from partners, we won’t ask you to turn them on…Regardless of the choices you make now, you can change your mind by visiting or at any time,” she explained. This can be done through your Settings or Privacy Shortcuts.

According to Recode, EU users must manually agree to the new terms of service in order to continue using Facebook whereas users elsewhere in the world who dismiss the prompt twice will automatically be opted-in.

Details of the experience aside, the overarching goal is to provide users with more control over their privacy by telling them exactly what data is being collected and how it’s used. In this vein, the company is addressing growing user concern about a lack of explanation around this issue and not having enough information to make informed decisions about what gets used and when.

In yet another push to improve user privacy and data protection, Facebook is enhancing two-factor authentication twofold: by streamlining the process and expanding the ways in which your account can be secured. In particular, Facebook previously required a phone number in order to enable two-factor authentication. Per this update, it will now accept apps including Duo Security and Google Authentication as alternative options.


Image via WIRED

For those unfamiliar, two-factor authentication (2FA) is a second layer of protection to your information—the strategy being that if your password gets stolen, your account will still be safeguarded because the person trying to use your information won’t have access to the 2FA code sent to your authentication app.

Two-factor authentication can be set up by going to your Settings, clicking on “Security and Login,” then navigating to “Use two-factor authentication.” Finally, select whether you’d like to use your phone number or a different authentication app.

These updates hardly come as a surprise given the company is still working to address lingering concerns following the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal. In fact, Egan confirmed that the Clear History feature mentioned at its latest F8 conference is in the works with more updates to follow in the coming weeks.

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