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Centre issues notice to Facebook on data breach

30 March 2018

Among the changes Facebook announced is a redesign of its privacy settings for mobile phones so that they'll appear on a single screen, instead of spread across 20 different screens. Facebook will need to be very transparent about what data it collects and how it is used, and make its privacy controls straightforward.

Facebook took out full-page ads in nine major British and USA newspapers on Sunday to apologise to users.

"The biggest difference is ease of access in settings, which fulfils Mark Zuckerberg's promise to make the privacy process and permissions more transparent to users", Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter said.

The company claims that the update has been "in the works" for some time, but that recent events have underscored their importance.

There is a new Privacy Shortcuts menu that allows for Facebook users to quickly control their data in just a few taps.

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Under the general settings page on Facebook, click on the "Download a copy of your Facebook data".

Facebook also said it plans to update its privacy policy and terms of service in the coming weeks, but gave no further details.

Facebook, with more than two billion users a month, provides advertisers with the ability to customise their messages and target who sees them by selecting from preset lists of demographics, likes, behaviours and interests, while excluding others.

The US Federal Trade Commission this week said it had launched a probe into whether Facebook violated consumer protection laws or a 2011 court-approved agreement on protecting private user data.

Barley demanded a "comprehensive investigation" into whether German users were affected by the illegal use of information from millions of Facebook profiles during "electoral strategy" work by the company Cambridge Analytica for the US Trump presidential campaign and the British Leave campaign during the Brexit referendum.

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There is also a new page - "access your information" - where users can see the information they've shared and manage it.

In response, it's bolting on an "Access Your Information" section to the website, billed as "a secure way for people to access and manage their information, such as posts, reactions, comments, and things you've searched for".

"We're also making it easier to download the data you've shared with Facebook - it's your data, after all".

Right now, though, Facebook and Zuckerberg just want to keep the platform from deflating altogether.

A lot of companies would be trapped by the conventions and their legacies of what they've built, doing a privacy change - doing a privacy change for 350 million users is not the kind of thing that a lot of companies would do.

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Centre issues notice to Facebook on data breach