After the Facebook data breach scandal, Facebook is aiming to restore its trust in users, investors and advertisers. Besides losing more than $75 billion in its company’s valuation over the week of March 19th, investors like Nordea’s Sustainable Investment Unit have blacklisted Facebook.

For Facebook to get out of Nordea Bank AB’s blacklist, Facebook has to convince the market that the “systemic issues” are proactively being taken care of and demonstrate hard facts on how they are taking steps to protect its users from this type of privacy breach in the future. “It’s time for them to step up”, head of sustainable finance Sasja Beslik told Bloomberg.

The crisis is due to an analytics firm named Cambridge Analytica that was hired for data information by U.S president Donald Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign. The Firm obtained and divulged private account information on 50 million Facebook users.

Facebook Privacy Settings – What Has Really Changed

1. Facebook’s First Move – Transparency on Privacy Settings

On March 28, Facebook announced that they would be making the Facebook privacy settings easier to access. Now, users will have more control over their own privacy. The previous privacy settings were spread over 20 different screens and included settings that many users didn’t even know Facebook had. Users will now receive more information on what the acquired data is used for.

Facebook launched a new tool called ‘Access Your Information’ that allows users to see exactly what data Facebook has on record for them and gives them the ability to delete the data if they wish. In a Facebook blog, Erin Egan and others have stated “Some people want to delete things they’ve shared in the past, while others are just curious about the information Facebook has”.

2. You Can Now Secure your Own Facebook Privacy Data

Facebook users now have the user-friendly ability to secure their own private data. While this was partially available before, it was not easy for an average user to figure out how to use the protection settings. This has now been made simple and more comprehensive. The bottom line is this should have been a priority a long time ago and should not have taken a crisis to implement the change. While this move was correctly and promptly taken by Facebook post crisis, many experts and influencers are making a lot of noise about the self-serving delay.

3. Who Sees What Now?

Facebook now offers a more user-friendly tool and method to control who sees your private information and to what extent. This new tool limits who sees your post, whether that’s only your friends or the public too. You can decide who can see your previous posts and future posts. A similar functionality was there before but it is now simpler to apply these security settings.

To access this tool on your smartphone, go to Settings -> Account settings -> Privacy -> under the section ‘YOUR ACTIVITY’

To access this tool on the Desktop or Mac, go to Settings -> Privacy

4. Their Ability to Track your Browsing Movements Off Facebook

Advertisers track your every move online, as does Facebook through the use of cookies. The alarming thing about this is that Facebook can still track your browsing movement even after logging out of your Facebook account. This is done so that Facebook can make targeted advertising for you. For example, if you are searching for blue pants on Google, Facebook will likely advertise more blue pants on your newsfeed. Previously, Facebook only provided users with the opportunity to switch off Ad Tracking. However, this only meant that the ads Facebook served you were less relevant to you.

Now, users have a more effective control in managing the data gathered for advertising purposes.

This tool can be accessed on Desktop and Mac at Settings -> Ad

This tool can be accessed on smartphones at Settings -> Account settings -> Ad

5. An Alternative Way to Block Facebook Ad Tracking

Some web browsers like Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome now offer the ability to install an add-on extension to the web browser as an alternative to block Facebook Ad Tracking. These extend the features on the web browser, giving users the ability to modify its rules and applications.. Due to the Facebook data breach, Mozilla has launched an extension named ‘Facebook Container’ for users that want to limit data being sent to Facebook. ‘Facebook Container’ blocks Facebook from tracking a user’s movements online to create targeted advertising. This does not solve every Facebook privacy issue but it is an additional way to prevent Facebook from feeding off your data. Also, you have the added comfort of knowing it’s a third party alternative as opposed to trusting Facebook themselves. For more information on Facebook Container visit:

6. New Rules for Third Party Applications and Developers

This is a major point because this is where the Facebook data breach occurred. When you use Facebook as a login option on a website or an app, you grant them permission to use your Facebook personal and public information. This option is mostly used for Games. Apps use the gathered data to personalize your experience while using the app and connect you with your friends by accessing your friends list. Facebook has come under enormous pressure from Europe with the new law named General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).This law will take effect on May 25th, 2018 and restricts how companies collect, use and store personal data. GDPR requires complete transparency and states that companies must allow users to export and delete their data. They must report data breaches within 72 hours. Fines are also big which should force these rules to be taken seriously. Violators will be fined 4 percent of their global annual revenue, which for Facebook could go up to more than a billion dollars.

We can only hope and anticipate that similar legislation will be introduced in North America and the rest of the world.

This Facebook data breach should bring in the beginning of a new era with respect to interacting and sharing information online. Notwithstanding all of the above, many people will continue to fear the internet and social media because it contains and stores so much of their personal data. There is a saying that goes, “once data is on the internet, it will always remain on the internet.”. Have these steps taken by Facebook and others due to this recent crisis really affect change and provide users with a safer data privacy environment? Or is this just another way for Facebook to provide the public with a false sense of security just to get through this latest data breach? It’s hard to say for now. We’ll have to stay tuned and see how this all plays out over the next few months. One thing is for certain. Change is coming.

About iRISEmedia | Social Media Agency | Toronto

At we are specialized in social media management, digital marketing, online reputation management and online branding. Our team helps clients manage and grow their online presence and branding to increase qualified web traffic and online leads. We service clients in Toronto and throughout Canada and the U.S.

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