Why Facebook Is Rolling Out a New Privacy Effort

ANKARA, TURKEY - OCTOBER 24: A smart phone showing facebook application is seen in Ankara, Turkey on October 24, 2017.

Facebook, Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) users are starting to receive notifications in their News Feeds to perform a “privacy checkup” as part of the company’s new initiative to keep users better informed about privacy issues and make it easier for them to manage settings.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg has vowed to “fix” Facebook in 2018, and the company is taking an aggressive approach to privacy and abuse in the opening weeks of the year.

In a new blog post, Facebook chief privacy officer Erin Egan says Facebook will publish its privacy principles for the first time and provide educational videos so users can better manage their privacy settings. The new post comes after chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg said that Facebook would create a new privacy center where users can access all of their key privacy settings in one place.

“We recognize that people use Facebook to connect, but not everyone wants to share everything with everyone – including with us,” Egan says in a blog post.

Facebook is likely trying to stay one step ahead of the EU’s upcoming General Data Protection Regulation, a new set of online privacy regulations that will be implemented on May 25. The rule requires companies like Facebook to report any data breaches within 72 hours of their discovery and give users the right to export and delete their personal data.

The new privacy initiatives are an important step in keeping users informed and empowered when it comes to their data. However, with FB stock up 146 percent in the past three years, investors are more concerned with how Facebook’s new approach could hurt the company’s bottom line. Zuckerberg has already acknowledged that changes the company will be making to its News Feed content will likely reduce the overall amount of time users spend on Facebook.

GBH Insights head of technology research Daniel Ives says Facebook is doing the right thing for the long-term future of the company by prioritizing and improving user experience.

“While the News Feed changes just announced could be worrisome in terms of an ad growth hiccup, we believe this overhaul was the right move for longer-term user engagement and driving ‘meaningful content,’ which remains the core ingredient in Facebook’s recipe for success for the coming years,” Ives says.

Leave a Reply