Facebook Launches New ‘Privacy Center’ to Facilitate More Control Over Privacy and Data-Sharing Options

Meta is looking to provide more transparency about how it uses Facebook user data, and what you can do to control that, via its new Privacy Center tool, which will provide a comprehensive overview of various aspects of usage tracking.

The new Privacy Center, which will initially be made available to some Facebook desktop users in the US, includes five specific items, which define what data Meta collects in each, and how you can turn off data tracking, if you so choose.

These five elements are:

  • protection – You can improve account security, set up tools like two-factor authentication, or learn more about how Meta combats data scraping.
  • to share – You can visit this guide if you have questions about who sees what you post, or how you can clean up old posts on your profile using tools like activity management.
  • Collection Learn about the different types of data that Meta collects, and how you can view that data through tools like Access to your information.
  • Uses Learn more about how and why we use data, and explore the controls we provide to manage how your information is used.
  • advertisements – Learn more about how your information is used to decide which ads you see, and take advantage of ad controls like Advertising Preferences.

Much of this has been accessed via other means in the past, including Privacy Shortcuts in your Facebook settings, while Facebook also added a Privacy Checkup tool in 2020 to make these controls more visible, and ensure that That more people were, at least, being asked to update their personal controls.

So basically, this new privacy hub doesn’t add much functionality. So why update?

This week, France’s data protection watchdog, CNIL, announced that it had released a file A fine of 60 million euros ($68 million) to Facebook for breaching French law regarding tracking cookies, following investigations into how it offered users data tracking options.

Google and YouTube were also penalized – as CNIL explained:

CNIL noted, after investigations, that the websites facebook.com, google.fr and youtube.com offer a button that allows the user to accept cookies instantly. However, they do not provide an equivalent solution (button or other) that enables the Internet user to refuse to deposit such cookies easily. Several clicks are required to decline all cookies, versus one click to accept them.

CNIL found that this affects the freedom of consent, which is a violation of Article 82 of the French data protection law, which leads to the imposition of penalties.

It wasn’t explicitly reported in the Meta announcement, but it appears that the new privacy center controls are intended to better align with these requirements, provide clearer transparency into all aspects of Facebook’s data tracking operations, along with improved controls to enable users to turn off any item Like that, if they choose.

Of course, the effectiveness of this comes down to whether people actually use it, and how many people are actually scrolling to find out more about this tracking. But this is not Meta’s responsibility – Meta only needs to ensure that these controls are accessible in order to comply with advanced requirements about data collection and use.

The Privacy Center will facilitate this, and it will also become the main hub for all these controls, as Meta works to meet advanced privacy requirements in different regions.

As noted, the new Privacy Center is being made available to some people who use Facebook on desktop, with Meta planning a broader rollout “in the coming months.”

People who have access will be able to find the new “Privacy Center” link in the “Settings and privacy” item.

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