Facebook announces new privacy tools to edit personal information

Facebook has announced new privacy tools that will allow users to edit personal information the social network holds.

It follows criticism of the site after it emerged data from 50 million users had been harvested by political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

Facebook said the changes were already planned, but added that recent events "underscore" their importance.

As part of the changes, Facebook said it has simplified the settings menu in its mobile app, which the company claims will make privacy and data controls easier to find.

The social network is also introducing a new privacy shortcuts menu - this will enable users to control the personal information that appears on the site and delete information and interactions they have made on the platform, as well as search history.

The new menu will also enable users to manage the information Facebook accesses to show users adverts.

A new section called Access Your Information is also being introduced, which will allow users to permanently delete anything from their timeline or profile they no longer want on the site.

The section will also enable users to access secure copies of their Facebook history more quickly, the company said.

In a blog post announcing the changes, the firm's chief privacy officer Erin Egan said: "Last week showed how much more work we need to do to enforce our policies and help people understand how Facebook works and the choices they have over their data.

"We've heard loud and clear that privacy settings and other important tools are too hard to find and that we must do more to keep people informed.

"So in addition to Mark Zuckerberg's announcements last week - cracking down on abuse of the Facebook platform, strengthening our policies, and making it easier for people to revoke apps' ability to use your data - we're taking additional steps in the coming weeks to put people more in control of their privacy.

"Most of these updates have been in the works for some time, but the events of the past several days underscore their importance."

The company also said it would reveal plans in the coming weeks to improve transparency around how it used data.

"It's also our responsibility to tell you how we collect and use your data in language that's detailed, but also easy to understand," Facebook said.

"In the coming weeks, we'll be proposing updates to Facebook's terms of service that include our commitments to people.

"We'll also update our data policy to better spell out what data we collect and how we use it. These updates are about transparency - not about gaining new rights to collect, use, or share data."

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