Facebook to make it easier for users to find, download and delete data

It comes as the social media company continues to deal with the fallout of the recent data controversy

Facebook to make it easier for users to find, download and delete data

Picture by: Jeff Chiu/AP/Press Association Images

Facebook has announced a series of changes to its privacy tools as it continues to deal with the fallout of the recent data scandal.

The social media company has faced increased scrutiny over its data practices following the Cambridge Analytica controversy.

The scandal revolves around allegations that London-based Cambridge Analytica used data from millions of Facebook profiles without authorisation - claims that have prompted investigations in the EU, UK and US.

Last week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged his company had 'made mistakes', and announced a range of measures in response - including an audit of all apps that had access to large amounts of information.

A fresh batch of privacy measures announced today are said to be 'in addition' to those announced last week.

In a blog post, Facebook said the changes have been in the works for some time but "the events of the past several days underscore their importance".

Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan and Deputy General Counsel Ashlie Beringer wrote: "We’ve redesigned our entire settings menu on mobile devices from top to bottom to make things easier to find. Instead of having settings spread across nearly 20 different screens, they’re now accessible from a single place.

"We’ve also cleaned up outdated settings so it’s clear what information can and can’t be shared with apps."

"It’s your data, after all"

Image: Facebook

A new privacy shortcuts menu has been introduced so users can more easily control their data - such as making their account more secure, and controlling the ads they see.

Facebook is also introducing a tool that allows people to find, download and delete all their data.

They explained: "We’re introducing Access Your Information – a secure way for people to access and manage their information, such as posts, reactions, comments, and things you’ve searched for. You can go here to delete anything from your timeline or profile that you no longer want on Facebook.

"We’re also making it easier to download the data you’ve shared with Facebook – it’s your data, after all. You can download a secure copy and even move it to another service. This includes photos you’ve uploaded, contacts you’ve added to your account, posts on your timeline, and more."

Facebook is also pledging to update its terms of service and data policy to improve 'transparency'.

Yesterday, it was confirmed by Facebook that Mark Zuckerberg would not appear before a British parliamentary committee investigating fake news.

However, he has agreed to appear before members of Congress in the US to answer questions about the recent data scandal.

Facebook shares have fallen sharply in the wake of the controversy, and is reported to have lost $80 billion in market value in the past two weeks.