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Data Privacy

What’s Facebook’s new ‘Privacy Center’?

Data Privacy

What’s Facebook’s new ‘Privacy Center’?

In a move that will provide its users with more transparency when it comes to how their data is used, Meta is releasing a new ‘Privacy Center’ feature on Facebook.

This new tool will allow users to gain a detailed overview of the various data tracking aspects in play on Facebook. Providing the option to switch off data tracking if people see fit, the Privacy Center is split into five different areas: Security, Sharing, Collection, Use and Ads.

The Security section allows users to tighten their account’s security through methods setting up two-factor authentication (2FA). With the Sharing section, users can query who can see their posts, and can manage old posts using the Manage Activity tool. In the Collection section, users can learn about the various types of data that Facebook/Meta collects, and the Access Your Information tool allows people to view the data that has been collected on them. To gain further insight into why and how Facebook uses data, users can consult the Use section, and here, they can also manage how their information is used. Finally, with the Ads section, people can discover how their information is used in relation to the ads they are shown, and they can set controls regarding this using Ad Preferences.

Much of this information and the accompanying tools have been available before now, but it was accessed via alternate means. While the exact research for this privacy-centred hub is unknown, last week, Facebook was fined €60m (£50m) by the French data protection watchdog CNIL, after it was found to have breached French law concerning cookie tracking. The CNIL found that while Facebook – along with YouTube and Google – provided users with a button to accept cookies, there was no button that would allow users to easily refuse cookies; instead, several clicks were required to do so. This was determined to be an infringement of the Data Protection Act in France, thus leading to the fine.

This law breach and subsequent fine may well have been the catalyst, or sole cause, for the new Privacy Center, which provides more transparency and control to users concerning their data.

Initially, the Privacy Center is being rolled out so some desktop Facebook users in the US, and presumably, it will then be rolled out across the board, including here in the UK.

Facebook’s fine and the new Privacy Center highlight the importance of being transparent when it comes to data use online. If you’d like a GDPR-compliant website for your business, speak to our team here at Engage Web today.

Emily Jones

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