Facebook Rolls Out New Privacy Settings Ahead of EU Data Law

(CN) – Facebook unveiled new privacy settings Tuesday ahead of a tough new European law intended to safeguard user’s data.

The social media giant announced the move in a company blog post.

“As soon as [the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation] was finalized, we realized it was an opportunity to invest even more heavily in privacy,” said the post authored by Erin Egan, Facebook’s chief privacy officer, and Ashlie Beringer, the company’s deputy general counsel.

“We not only want to comply with the law, but also go beyond our obligations to build new and improved privacy experiences for everyone on Facebook,” Egan and Beringer said.

According to the blog post, users will soon be able to opt out of some features, including one that allowed Facebook to use data from websites its user’s visit.

In addition, it tell users, “If you’ve chosen to share political, religious, and relationship information on your profile, we’ll ask you to choose whether to continue sharing and letting us use this information.”

But in a briefing for reporters at its Menlo Park, California headquarters, Facebook’s Rob Sherman, who is the company’s deputy chief privacy officers, said Facebook will not let users opt out of having their data collected for targeted advertisements.

“People can choose to not be on Facebook if they want,” Sherman said.

Nevertheless, Facebook says it is going to rill out its new privacy controls to users worldwide.

The EU’s new privacy law foes into effect on May 25. It requires internet platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google to be more more transparent about what they do with users’ data and to offer users more control over what companies do with their personal data.

Facebook’s handling of user data has been under intense public scrutiny since it admitted that Cambridge Analytica, a political contractor that worked for the 2016 Trump campaign, improperly obtained information on 87 million users.

The announced changes come a week after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg faced two days of sometime hostile questions in hearings on Capitol Hill.

“Beyond today’s announcements, we’ll keep improving. We’re committed to making sure people understand how we use their information and how they can control it,” the company’s blog post said.

 

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