Facebook users getting more control over privacy settings

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The platform is consolidating 20 privacy screens to just one

Facebook is making major changes to its privacy settings to make it easier for users to find and change them.

The company has been under fire because one of its app developers misappropriated Facebook data, allegedly selling it to a political marketing firm.

"We’ve redesigned our entire settings menu on mobile devices from top to bottom to make things easier to find," said Erin Egan, Facebook's chief privacy officer, in a company blog. "Instead of having settings spread across nearly 20 different screens, they’re now accessible from a single place."

Other modifications include "cleaning up" outdated settings so users have a better understanding of what information can and can’t be shared with apps.

Privacy shortcuts

"People have also told us that information about privacy, security, and ads should be much easier to find," Egan writes. "The new privacy shortcuts is a menu where you can control your data in just a few taps, with clearer explanations of how our controls work. The experience is now clearer, more visual, and easy to find."

Using the new privacy shortcuts menu, expected to go live later today, Facebook users can make their accounts more secure with added layers of protection. Users will be able to review information that has been shared and delete it. The data includes posts that have been shared or commented upon, friend requests, and Facebook searches.

Controlling ad placement

Facebook is also giving users more control over the ads they view by managing the information Facebook uses to decide ad placement. Users will be able to manage who sees their posts and profile information.

"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," Egan said. "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 has faced intense media criticism after it was revealed that an app developer that had permission to access Facebook user data reportedly sold the data, in violation of Facebook's rules, to a third party.

That third party, a political marketing company called Cambridge Analytica, reportedly used the data to target political ads and information in support of Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign.

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