Facebook is launching a new ‘Privacy Center’ to facilitate more privacy controls and data sharing options

Meta seeks to provide greater transparency about how Facebook uses user data and what you can do to control it, through the new Privacy Center tool, which will provide a comprehensive overview of its various aspects of tracking usage.

The new privacy center, which will initially be available to some Facebook desktop users in the U.S., includes five specific elements, which describe the data Meta collects in each and how you can turn off data tracking if you wish.

These five elements are:

  • Security – You can refresh account security, set up tools such as two-factor authentication, or learn more about how Meta fights data scraping.
  • Sharing – You can visit this guide if you have questions about who sees what you post or how you can clear old posts on your profile using tools such as Manage activity.
  • Collection – Learn about the different types of data that Meta collects and how you can view that data through tools such as Access your information.
  • Use – Learn more about how and why we use data and explore the controls we offer to manage the way your information is used.
  • Ads – Learn more about how your information is used to determine the ads you see and use ad controls such as Ad settings.

Much of this was previously available in other ways, including ‘Privacy Shortcuts’ in your Facebook settings, while Facebook also added a ‘Privacy Check’ tool in 2020 to make these controls more obvious and ensure more people, at least , invited to update their personal controls.

So, basically, this new Privacy Center doesn’t add much, functionally. Then why the update?

This week, the French data protection agency, CNIL, announced that it had issued a 60 million euros (68 million dollars) fine Facebook for violating French cookie tracking law, following an investigation into how it presents users with a choice of tracking data.

Google and YouTube have also been penalized – as CNIL explains:

CNIL noted, after the investigation, that the websites, and offer a button that allows the user to accept cookies immediately. However, they do not provide an equivalent solution (button or other) that allows an Internet user to easily refuse to place these cookies. It takes a few clicks to reject all cookies, against one to accept them.

CNIL has found that this affects freedom of consent, in violation of section 82 of the French Data Protection Act, leading to penalties.

This was not explicitly stated in Meta’s announcement, but new Privacy Center controls appear to aim to better align with such requirements, providing more, clearer transparency over all aspects of Facebook’s data monitoring process, along with improved controls that allow users to opt out. any element of such, if they choose.

Of course, the effectiveness of such comes down to whether people actually use it and how many people actually use it to learn more about such monitoring. But that is not the responsibility of Meta – Meta just needs to ensure that such controls are available to comply with advanced data collection and use requirements.

The Privacy Center will facilitate this, and will also become a key hub for all such controls, as Meta works to meet advanced privacy requirements in different regions.

As mentioned, the new Privacy Center has been made available to some people who use Facebook on the desktop, and Meta is planning a wider introduction “in the coming months”.

People who have access will be able to find the new ‘Privacy Center’ link in the ‘Settings and Privacy’ element.

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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