January 28 is Data Privacy Day, and Facebook wants to make sure users understand how their data is protected on the social platform. Facebook launched a new campaign to better help users understand privacy settings, along with sharing the company’s privacy principles for the first time. The privacy data comes after Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg announced last week that a new Privacy Center will roll out to all users in May, a response to the upcoming European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) law.
Facebook users will start seeing new videos in their news feed today, designed to share information on privacy settings. The video series will cover topics from deleting old posts to controlling what information Facebook uses about you to deliver ads. As part of Data Privacy Day, users will also be encouraged to use the platform’s existing Privacy Checkup tool.
While today’s changes are designed to help users understand existing privacy controls, Facebook will be rolling out a new Privacy Center in May. The change is in part to comply with the GDPR law, legislation passed last year that goes into effect on May 25 of this year. While the law itself only goes into effect in Europe, the effects will be felt worldwide as Facebook plans to make related updates global rather than only in the affected countries. (The company was also criticized for privacy settings last year in France and the Netherlands.)
Facebook hasn’t yet shared exactly what the new Privacy Center will entail, but says the update “features core privacy settings in a single place.” Policymakers, as well as privacy experts and user feedback, will provide some of the data used to make those changes.
“We’re rolling out a new privacy center globally that will put the core privacy settings for Facebook in one place and make it much easier for people to manage their data,” Sandberg said last week.
The newly released privacy principles include seven standards that Facebook says helps guide privacy-related decisions within the company. The principles include:
- Giving users privacy control
- Helping users understand privacy options
- Developing privacy into new products at every stage of development
- Working to keep user information secure
- Ensuring users own (and can remove) their information
- Working on constant improvements
- Maintaining accountability
Facebook will also be hosting several privacy-related events, including workshops for small to mid-sized businesses, this year.
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