What steps is Facebook taking to address it?
In the past two weeks, Facebook has unveiled a number of measures designed to address user concerns and regain user faith in the platform. Here are just a few of them:
#1. Updated privacy controls
Facebook has recently redesigned their settings menu on mobile devices to make it easier for users to find their privacy controls. They’ve created new privacy shortcuts to help explain the functionality of settings and how security controls work.
In addition, Facebook now gives you the ability to see and control how your information, or information collected about you, is being used to feed you targeted ads. Explore your own Ad Preferences and information by heading over to the “Ad Preferences” section.
Facebook has also attempted to make the way their ads function and target people more transparent.
#2. Removing third-party ad targeting options
In the wake of the scandal breaking, Facebook conducted their own audits and halted app and bot approvals. They also removed the option to utilize third-party provided data within their ad tools. This means businesses can no longer dive into highly detailed targeting for their ads.
Below is an example of what this type of targeting looked like. Even with this vault of information gone, advertisers have a wide array of information to still use, including: advanced geo-targeting, interest targeting, website traffic retargeting, and basic demographics targeting.
In combination, these are powerful tools advertisers can take advantage of on Facebook.
What Facebook targeting once looked like. (Image courtesy of https://www.jonloomer.com/2018/03/28/facebook-no-more-partner-categories/)
#3. Giving users the ability to download personal data
You are able to download your Facebook data from the general account settings section. From here, you can see places you have “checked into,” Facebook searches, the IP addresses of everywhere you have logged into Facebook, information such as political or religious views, a history of chat conversations, and even an archive of the “pokes” you have received and given (an ancient Facebook feature from the platform’s early days), and much more.
Here’s where you can learn more about your Facebook data from within the settings on your profile.
What does this all mean?
Facebook’s latest update provides everyone with more transparency in how information is being collected and used. The company is walking a fine line between trying to provide users with more privacy without disrupting the ability for advertisers to use Facebook as a viable way to reach new customers.
Yet, with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg set to testify to Congress next week, it’s clear that the social media giant isn’t done answering questions.
What do you think? As a user, do these updates give you a sense of relief towards Facebook’s data collection and targeting abilities? Or, are you shocked by how much they know and have collected?
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