Facebook to Introduce Privacy Push

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Facebook announced that it will introduce a new privacy center that features all core privacy settings in one place, in 2018.

Facebook made this decision after the introduction of a strict new EU data protection law that takes effect on May 25, 2018. The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will restrict how tech companies collect, store, and use personal data. Facebook also says that it is publishing its privacy principles for the first time, detailing how the company handles user details.

Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer said in a speech last week that the new privacy center would give Facebook a “very good foundation to meet all the requirements of the GDPR and to spur us on to continue investing in products and in educational tools to protect privacy.”

These rules will be enforced across the 28-member EU, including a rule that requires companies to report data breaches within 72 hours. Companies must also allow users to export their data and delete it. Under existing right to be forgotten provisions, people who don not want certain data about them online can request companies to remove it. If companies breach the GDPR they would be subject to fines of up to 4 percent of their global annual revenue US$ 24.8 million.

The new privacy center tool will be more comprehensive and unite key privacy settings rather than spreading them across multiple pages. Facebook currently promotes a more limited feature called Privacy Check-Up that gives you privacy controls over future posts, your profile’s About Me section, and app preferences.

As part of the privacy push, Facebook has also begun running short education videos in users’ New Feeds that teach users how to delete old posts, explain what happens to user information when an account is deleted, and show how to manage data used for Facebook ads. Facebook, which has 2 billion users, said it will show different videos on different privacy topics throughout the year.

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