Facebook has been floundering in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Its stock has been dropping, advertisers have been pulling out, the Federal Trade Commission has it under investigation, Mozilla has created an extension to put your Facebook account in isolation, and those in damage control seem at a loss for what to do.
Early on Facebook tried to spin the story into an “it was your fault” narrative by claiming that users have always had the tools to protect their data available to them, but don’t use them. When they saw that wasn’t going to fly, Mark Zuckerberg personally attempted a quasi-apology admitting responsibility for the fiasco.
The social media behemoth is currently battling against a #DeleteFacebook movement, started by WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton. Several celebrities and companies have deleted their Facebook accounts including Cher, SpaceX, Tesla, and even Playboy.
Today Facebook announced it will be making it easier to find the tools to secure your account and is adding a way to delete your data.
"We’re taking additional steps in the coming weeks to put people more in control of their privacy."
In a blog post titled “It’s Time to Make Our Privacy Tools Easier to Find,” the company “reminds” users how to do things like secure their account, control personal information, choose which ads are displayed, and manage who can view their posts and profile.
“Last week showed how much more work we need to do to enforce our policies and help people understand how Facebook works and the choices they have over their data,” the post reads. “We’ve heard loud and clear that privacy settings and other important tools are too hard to find and that we must do more to keep people informed.”
Begining with the mobile app, the developers are making the overall settings easier to find and use. Previously the various settings were contained on 20 different screens. Now they will be accessible from a single page.
As to the privacy settings specifically, it is implementing a “Privacy Shortcuts” menu. From there, users will be able to find clear explanations of how the privacy controls work and will be able to tighten down the security of their data with only a few clicks.
They are also adding tools to allow users to see what data is being collected and giving them the option and ability to delete any of it. It will come under the menu heading “Access Your Information.” From here users will be able to manage and delete posts, reactions, comments, and search history. It will be a one-stop shop for eliminating anything from your timeline or profile.
You can also download a copy of all the data Facebook has on you.
“We’re also making it easier to download the data you’ve shared with Facebook – it’s your data, after all. You can download a secure copy and even move it to another service. This includes photos you’ve uploaded, contacts you’ve added to your account, posts on your timeline, and more.”
Downloading does not constitute deleting, but it might be useful if you are ever in need of a really scary campfire tale — “And this is everything Facebook knows about me.”
"These updates are about transparency – not about gaining new rights to collect, use, or share data."
The only thing the post did not touch on was how to delete your account outright. I do not expect it to be adding an easily accessible option for that at this time, but who knows. If Facebook gets slammed with billions in fines, maybe they could have them reduced with the promise of adding a Delete Account button.