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Facebook Claims it Will Give Users More Control over Personal Data

MENLO PARK, CA - APRIL 04: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during an event at Facebook headquarters on April 4, 2013 in Menlo Park, California. Zuckerberg announced a new product for Android called Facebook Home. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Justin Sullivan/Getty

Following Facebook’s latest user data scandal, the company has promised to give users more control over their personal data.

Reuters reports that following Facebook’s latest user data scandal which allegedly saw the personal data of 50 million users accessed by data analysis firm Cambridge Analytica, the company plans to give users greater control over their user data. Facebook also plans to update their site’s terms of service and data policy to better protect users from overreach by third-party apps and to better explain how user data is used by Facebook. Erin Egan, Facebook’s chief privacy officer, and Ashlie Beringer, the social media company’s deputy general counsel, said in a statement: “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.”

Facebook plans to redesign the account settings section of their mobile app while also creating a new privacy shortcut menu that should allow users greater control over their account security and personal information. The new privacy page will reportedly allow users to review and delete data that they’ve shared with third-party apps or websites, including Facebook posts and online search queries. Users will also have the option to download data collected by Facebook such as uploaded photos, phone contacts shared with the site and posts on users timelines.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been called to testify before a second panel of U.S. lawmakers in Congress recently in relation to the social media giant’s latest user data scandal. The Senate Judiciary Committee urged Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who chairs the committee, to call on Zuckerberg to testify about the recent alleged misuse of Facebook users’ data. Grassley confirmed that he asked the Facebook CEO to testify at an upcoming hearing relating to data privacy that would examine “the protection and monitoring of consumer data.” Facebook is also under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission over the scandal related to data analysis firm Cambridge Analytica. The FTC has now stated that they are investigating the social media company’s internal user privacy practices.

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