Here’s the understatement of the year: March was not a good month for Facebook. The Cambridge Analytica scandal and ensuing #DeleteFacebook wave and stock plummet has a lot of people questioning the future of Zuckerberg and Co., and with good reason.
Not only is Facebook stock down over 15 percent (year to date), but also searches for “delete facebook account” reached 110,000 from March 20 through March 27 (with sister search term “how to delete facebook” hitting 74,000), according to analytics from digital marketing agency iQuanti. It’s also been tweeted more than 400,000 times.
While that’s a far cry from the more than 1 billion Facebook accounts, it’s not exactly what Facebook wants to see popping up in its news feed overshadowing some of the brand’s better news.
In an effort to restore any sense of confidence in their security, Mark Zuckerberg made a quasi-apology on March 21, and outlined steps the platform would take to restore security. Just this week, Facebook announced more changes in its privacy settings and terms of service. Here’s everything they’re doing–so far–to restore consumer confidence and repair a damaged reputation:
Banning Cambridge Analytica from Facebook
Facebook has banned Cambridge Analytica from using any of its services while a thorough audit and investigation is conducted. Probably a good call.
Prior to 2014, apps had access to tons of user information. Now, Facebook is investigating all of those apps, and banning any developer that does not comply in their audit or who is found to have misused data.
Restricting Data Access
No more data free for all for apps–now apps will only be able to ask for your name, profile photo, and email address when you sign in. In the past, they had access to your posts as well. Any app that you haven’t used in three months will no longer have access to your data either.
Putting Data Permissions in Users’ Hands
Coming soon: A tool at the top of the News Feed that allows you to easily revoke apps’ access to your data. Yes, this currently exists in privacy settings, but soon it will be front and center.
For anyone curious about what personal information Facebook has (which, after this past month, is roughly all of us), it’s now going to be a lot easier to see. Facebook is adding Access Your Information where you can see all of the information you’ve ever shared–lie photos, comments, likes, and searches– in one place, and also delete anything you no longer want in the system.
If you thought that changing your settings required jumping through too many hoops, you weren’t alone. In the past, the settings options were spread across 20 pages! Now, all of the settings will now be in one place, and there will be a shortcuts menu for privacy settings.
Take Your Data to Go
The final change is pretty bold, as it makes it easier for anyone claiming they will #DeleteFacebook to–well–delete Facebook. As part of the Access Your Information page, Facebook users will now be able to securely download everything they’ve ever shared or posted on the site–like contacts, posts, and photos–and move it to another platform, if they so choose
More updates are on the horizon, including a Terms of Service update that we all may read just a little more thoroughly than we have in the past!