Following revelations that emerged last week about Facebook's misuse of user data, the company today said it has "heard loud and clear" that it needs to make it easier for users to know how to control their own privacy settings and data. These updates to Facebook mobile and on the web "have been in the works for some time," according to Facebook chief privacy officer Erin Egan, "but the events of the past several days underscore their importance."

The first update is found in a redesigned settings menu on mobile devices, so instead of settings that are spread across "nearly 20 different screens," they're all in one place. This area is also now cleaned up so outdated menus are gone and it's more clear what user information can and can't be shared with apps.

facebook privacy update 2

The old settings menu (left) and new settings menu (right)

A new Privacy Shortcuts menu launches users into an area where they can look at information regarding privacy, security, and ads "in just a few taps." This menu is also now clearer, has more visuals, and provides simple explanations for how each control option works. Below you'll find a breakdown of everything you can do when jumping into Privacy Shortcuts:

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.

In a new area called Access Your Information, users can access and manage data -- like posts, timeline memories, items on a profile, reactions, comments, and items searched for -- so that it can be easily deleted. Facebook said it's also making it easier to download the data shared on the site. Users can download a secure copy of photos uploaded, contacts, timeline posts, and more, "and even move it to another service."

facebook privacy update 1
Next, the company said that it plans to update its terms of service with the inclusion of "commitments to people," as well as update its data policy to "better spell out" what data is collected and how it's used. In total, Facebook said that all of these updates are about transparency, and "not about gaining new rights to collect, use, or share data."

Apple CEO Tim Cook this past weekend described the Facebook scandal as "dire," calling for stronger privacy regulations in the wake of news that data firm Cambridge Analytica amassed data on 50 million Facebook users without their consent and targeted messages to voters during the 2016 presidential election. Facebook has now delayed the launch of its own entry into the smart speaker market, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is set to testify in front of Congress on privacy in the coming weeks.

Top Rated Comments

826317 Avatar
38 months ago
Ah lovely, the false sense of security is strong in this one.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
blackjackmark Avatar
38 months ago
Anyone that has ever posted on Facebook and has ever expected any privacy has been deluding themselves.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macaddict06 Avatar
38 months ago
To Facebook personal data = profits. They will never give you tools to get in the way of their bottom line.

Any changes they ever make will only be to provide a false sense of security so that people are more willing to share data and Facebook profits more.

This is how you turn a disaster into added profit. Facebook will be better off financially because of this leak.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
martyjmclean Avatar
38 months ago
Too little, too late. Deactivated my Facebook account a year ago. If it was easier to delete it, I would do.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Applebot1 Avatar
38 months ago
Look at the history of FaceBook he hacked into the university to get all the profiles of students for his original dating software. He knew just like any organisation profiling and data is the real money maker.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tgdbowler Avatar
38 months ago
Deactivated my account 4-5 months ago and haven't looked back.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

apple transfer google photos 1

Apple Launches Service for Transferring iCloud Photos and Videos to Google Photos

Wednesday March 3, 2021 12:04 pm PST by
Apple this week introduced a new service that's designed to make it quick and easy for iCloud users to transfer their stored photos and videos to Google Photos. As outlined in an Apple support document, you can go to Apple's privacy website and sign in to see the "Transfer a copy of your data" option. If you select this and go through all the steps, Apple will transfer your iCloud photos and ...
rosetta 2

Rosetta May Be Removed From M1 Macs in Some Regions on macOS 11.3

Tuesday March 2, 2021 5:20 pm PST by
Installing the upcoming macOS 11.3 software update on an M1 Mac may result in Rosetta 2 being removed in one or more regions around the world. In the third beta of macOS 11.3 seeded to developers for testing today, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser uncovered new strings in the beta's code indicating that "Rosetta will be removed upon installing this update." Another new string reads "Rosetta ...
Screen Shot 2021 03 03 at 11

MagSafe Charging Port for iPhone Appears in Apple Patent

Wednesday March 3, 2021 1:30 am PST by
In a newly granted patent, Apple envisions a type of connectivity port using an iteration of its magnetic MagSafe charger to charge an iPhone, potentially paving the way for a future without Lightning. Submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday (via Patently Apple), the patent outlines a three-pinned MagSafe charger, similar to the ones found in older MacBook...
Oled iPads and MackBook Pro

OLED 10.9-Inch iPad Rumored for Early 2022, 12.9-Inch iPad Pro and 16-Inch MacBook Pro Could Follow

Thursday March 4, 2021 8:37 pm PST by
Earlier today, DigiTimes shared a preview of an upcoming report claiming that Apple is working on both iPad and Mac notebook models with OLED displays that could launch starting in 2022. The full report from DigiTimes is now available, and it includes several new alleged details about Apple's plans. According to the report, the first of these devices to adopt an OLED display is likely to be...
OLED iPad Pro and MacBook Pro

iPad and MacBook Models With OLED Displays Rumored to Launch in 2022

Thursday March 4, 2021 8:19 am PST by
Apple plans to release new iPad and MacBook models with OLED displays in 2022, according to industry sources cited by Taiwanese supply chain publication DigiTimes. The information was shared in the site's paywalled "Before Going to Press" section, so there are no further details yet, but the full report should be released by tomorrow. Apple has gradually increased its adoption of OLED...
iPad mini pro feature

Sketchy Rumor Claims 'iPad Mini Pro' Launching in Second Half of 2021

Wednesday March 3, 2021 3:04 am PST by
Apple is expected to launch a sixth-generation iPad mini in the first half of 2021, possibly as soon as this March, based on long-standing rumors. However, a new rumor out of Asia that has gained traction in the last 24 hours suggests an "iPad mini Pro" will arrive in the second half of this year. According to a post on Korean blog Naver, whose rumor track record is unknown, the device...
maxresdefault

What's on Your iPhone Home Screen?

Thursday March 4, 2021 10:31 am PST by
Over on our YouTube channel, MacRumors videographer Dan has a new video up where he shares his Home Screen, wallpaper, and all of his current favorite widgets. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Check out Dan's video to see his setup, and then comment below and show us your own Home Screens. It's always fun to see other peoples' Home Screens, and with widgets and...
apple pencil 3 leak

New Apple Pencil Allegedly Leaks With Glossy Finish and Redesigned Tip

Wednesday March 3, 2021 6:17 am PST by
Images supposedly depicting a third-generation Apple Pencil have been shared on Twitter by the leaker known as "Mr. White." The purported new Apple Pencil appears to share a very similar design to the current, second-generation Apple Pencil, which is shorter than the previous version and charges inductively on the side of an iPad. The updated Apple Pencil appears to have a glossy...
apple watch ecg wrist

Apple Watch ECG Feature Gets Approved in Australia

Wednesday March 3, 2021 2:07 am PST by
The Australian government has approved ECG functionality on the Apple Watch, giving Apple the all-clear to launch the feature for Apple Watch users in the country, according to a regulatory document first spotted by The 8-Bit. Earlier last month, the Apple Watch's irregular heart rhythm notification received approval in Australia, although ECG did not. Irregular heart rhythm is a feature...
PIA23764 RoverNamePlateonMars web

NASA Mars Perseverance Rover Uses Same PowerPC Chipset Found in 1998 G3 iMac

Tuesday March 2, 2021 3:21 am PST by
NASA's Perseverance rover, which recently made history landing on the surface of Mars, is powered by the same processor used in an iMac more than 23 years old. Image Credit: NASA As reported by NewScientist (via Gizmodo), the rover includes the PowerPC 750 processor, the same chip used in the G3 iMac in 1998. The main chipset is the same; however, there are differences between the...