Facebook, still reeling from the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, has outlined new steps it is taking towards complying with new privacy laws around the globe, in particular new regulations from Europe.
In a blog post on Tuesday, Facebook's Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan and its Deputy General Counsel Ashlie Beringer outlined new steps the company is taking for its users, "no matter where they live." Users, they explained, will be able to review important information about how the company uses data and "make choices about their privacy on Facebook."
Theannouncements are in response to the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which was passed in April 2016 to regulate how companies protect EU citizens' personal data.
Some of the changes include:
-Asking people to review information about ads based on data from partners and whether they want Facebook to use their data to help partners make more relevant ads.
-Giving people in the EU and Canada the option to turn on facial recognition, which the post says "help[s] protect your privacy and improve your experiences," including tasks such as tagging people. (Facebook says using facial recognition technology is "entirely optional for anyone on Facebook.")
-Asking users whether they want to continue sharing information such as political, religious and relationship information. If users don't want to share it, Facebook is making it easier to delete this information.
-Agreeing to an updated terms of service and data policy, which includes more detail about how Facebook's services work. Specifically in the EU, Facebook users will see details that are relevant to them, such as how to contact Facebook's Data Protection Officer.
"As soon as GDPR was finalized, we realized it was an opportunity to invest even more heavily in privacy," Egan and Beringer wrote in the post. "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."
The duo added: "We’ve brought together hundreds of employees across product, engineering, legal, policy, design and research teams. We’ve also sought input from people outside Facebook with different perspectives on privacy, including people who use our services, regulators and government officials, privacy experts, and designers."
Additionally, as part of the new GDPR requirements, Facebook said it has expanded tools to allow users to access their information, see the data, download, export and delete it if they want.
For younger users, specifically those between the ages of 13 and 15 in the EU, they will see "a less personalized version of Facebook with restricted sharing" and fewer relevant ads unless their parents or guardians give them permission.
"Even where the law doesn’t require this, we’ll ask every teen if they want to see ads based on data from partners and whether they want to include personal information in their profiles," the blog post reads.
Egan and Beringer noted that Facebook users in the EU will start seeing these requests this week, with others around the world seeing the changes later.
The GDPR is slated to come into effect on May 25.
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