In the midst of rising angst about how their platform has been used to manipulate voter opinions, and in light of tighter data security measures being implemented in Europe, Facebook has launched a new campaign to help better inform users of their data and privacy options, with a range of new education resources and tools to help people understand how and where their data is used.
As explained by Facebook:
“You have many ways to control your data on Facebook. This includes tools to make sure you share only what you want with the people you want to see it. But privacy controls are only powerful if you know how to find and use them.”
To help raise awareness of such tools, the first measure Facebook’s launching is a new series of in News Feed videos which aim to make users aware of how their data is used, how they can control such usage, and what options they have in terms of content deletion and retention.
In addition, there’ll be extra prompts to undertake Facebook’s Privacy Checkup to help ensure you’re aware of your security settings, while they’re also introducing a new privacy center which will feature all the core privacy settings in a single place.
As noted, part of the renewed push on privacy, aside from concerns about potential data misuse, is the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which will create consistent data protection rules across the EU. The GDPR is set to become effective from May 25, 2018, and will apply to all companies based in the EU as well as companies around the world who provide or offer goods or services, and who process data from or about, people in the region.
As explained by Facebook:
“While many of the principles of the GDPR build on current data protection rules in the EU, the GDPR has a wider scope, more prescriptive standards and substantial fines for compliance violations. For example, it requires companies to obtain a higher standard of consent from customers, where relevant, and broadens individuals' rights with respect to accessing and porting their data.”
As part of the revised privacy settings, Facebook has also notes that in cases where Facebook acts as a ‘data processor’, related businesses will be responsible for ensuring they comply with the GDPR.
Those instances include:
Custom Audiences: When we match your CRM data to our user database and create a 'custom audience' for your advertising campaigns, we are the data processor.
Measurement and analytics: We process data on your behalf in order to measure the performance and reach of your ad campaigns and provide insights about the people who use your services, and report back to you.
Workplace: Workplace Premium offerings allow you to collaborate with your coworkers using Facebook's tools. We process personal data as a data processor in order to provide this service to you.
All of these additional regulations relate back to Facebook’s wider data security and privacy push, which you can expect to become a bigger focus throughout 2018, as investigations continue into Facebook’s growing influence, and it’s positive and/or negative impacts on society.
In addition, Facebook has also published their listing of key Privacy Principles for the first time, which are The Social Network's key tenets to which they seek to adhere to in their privacy and security efforts.
And one important note of inclusion in their listing, which has long been the source of rumor:
As noted, given the most recent controversies, you can expect Facebook to come under more scrutiny – and possibly, in some instances, more regulation, which could have significant impacts on their operations. Facebook will be keen to avoid such moves, and as such, you can expect to see The Social Network going to increased effort to show that they're able to improve accountability, and police themselves and their network in an acceptable, transparent manner.