Less than 24 hours after three users sued the company in a class action lawsuit, Facebook, Inc. released a new set of privacy tools on Wednesday aimed at helping users understand and manage their data preferences.
Analysts say Facebook is making all the right moves to reassure concerned users and advertisers, but it may be a long wait for Facebook investors to see whether or not the company’s efforts are working.
On Wednesday morning, Facebook unveiled a series of new privacy-related measures. First, Facebook says it redesigned the settings menu on its mobile app and compiled all of the different settings sections in a single place.
In addition, Facebook has added a privacy shortcut menu for users. Under the new menu, users can easily manage their privacy settings, delete photos and posts, view and edit search history and change the information visible on their profiles. Facebook is also launching a new tool called “Access Your Information,” which will allow users to see and delete all their comment and posting history.
Finally, Facebook says it will be making it easier for users to access and download their stored personal data and will be proposing new terms of service that will be clearer about what data the company collects and how they use that data.
Earlier this week, Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg agreed to testify to Congress about the Cambridge Analytical scandal that exposed the personal data of 50 million users to a company tied to the 2016 Trump campaign. GBH Insights head of technology research Daniel Ives says Zuckerberg’s testimony will likely be difficult, but full transparency is the right move for investors.
“It is a necessary smart strategic step for Facebook to head to the Beltway as the public fury continues to grow around the Cambridge data leak, which represents the darkest chapter in the company’s 14-year history,” Ives says.
The wave of negative media coverage related to Cambridge Analytical, phone call and text data collection, an ongoing FTC investigation, and user lawsuits has sent Facebook stock plummeting 16.9 percent in the past two weeks. Unfortunately, it may take several more months before investors know just how much data worries have impacted its users and how strictly regulators will crack down on the company.