Facebook opens up about how it handles user data privacy

Facebook has revealed how it handles privacy for its 1.5 billion uses on it social network, shedding light on how much control people have over their data.

The company’s chief privacy officer Erin Egan posted a detailed breakdown on on Facebook’s ‘privacy principles’ detailing its approach to privacy and its ambition to demystify how it keeps its users’ data private if they so desire.

Egan explained how Facebook users own the data they share on the social network and can delete anything they have posted at will. Even if a post is from several years ago a person can delete it and Facebook will purge it from their servers; the same applies to a user’s account.

The security chief also touted how Facebook works “around the clock” to keep user accounts secure and how its security systems run at millions of times per second to catch cyber threats.

This insight into Facebook’s approach to privacy and data security is a move by the company to make it more clear to users that they not Facebook have control over their data.

“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,” wrote Egan.

“We’re introducing a new education campaign to help you understand how data is used on Facebook and how you can manage your own data. We’re also announcing plans to make your core privacy settings easier to find, and sharing our privacy principles for the first time.”

Party of this privacy push will involve posting videos into user news feeds explaining how to control privacy settings such as what data Facebook is allowed to access to use for advertising as well as how to completely delete an account.

This privacy mea culpa comes ahead of the European Union’s formal implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which in part forces companies operating in the EU to make it easier for users’ to manage their data.

While the very essence of Facebook’s social network appears to be based on data sharing, the company has been adamant on offering suits users the ability to make their data private.

Its Privacy Basics portal, used to help people understand Facebook’s privacy options, has been around for a while. And with its reveal of it privacy principles, Facebook certainly looks to be doubling down on its user privacy efforts.

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