Facebook is, of course, no stranger to privacy and security issues the past couple of years. So we have mixed feelings whenever they announce some new data privacy tool or feature that they’ve added, wondering if they’re making up for all their failures or if we can even believe or trust them. But hey, most of us are still on the platform and so we have to live with it. And as we celebrate Data Privacy Day, Mr. Zuckerberg himself is reminding us to regularly check our privacy settings on an off Facebook.
Facebook says that over the next few weeks, they’ll be sending notifications to their “nearly two billion” users that they should review their privacy settings on the platform. You’ll be able to see that prompt on your News Feed and hopefully, you won’t just ignore it and go on with your scrolling. Tapping on it will direct you to the Privacy Checkup Tool. They’ve actually recently updated this so it will be easier for users to understand what they’re sharing or not sharing with Facebook.
What you do off Facebook that affects what you actually see on the social network is another cause for concern for some people who don’t understand how cookies and tracking work. They have tried to make it easier for you to see and understand this with their Off-Facebook Activity tool where you’ll see a summary of the information that you’re bringing with you from other websites where you used the Facebook login tool to sign up or log in. You can clear this information from your account if you prefer that they don’t “follow you around”.
Speaking of Facebook logins, they recently rolled out the Login Notifications where you will be notified whenever you use it to sign into third-party apps or websites. This way, you’re aware of your own activity and especially when someone else seems to be using your account, placing you in digital (and maybe actual) danger. It can be a bit annoying especially if you use your Facebook Login in a lot of sites, but remember that it’s for your own good.
No matter how you feel about Facebook, if you’re still using the social network then you should be mindful of how you’re sharing your data and privacy settings so don’t ignore the prompt to review your information. Making them accountable for past (and maybe present) misdeeds is a whole other matter for discussion.