Ahead of GDPR laws, Facebook publishes privacy principles and promises to educate users

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Facebook has published its privacy principles for the first time, ahead of the European Union's general data protection regulation (GDPR) which comes into force on May 25 -- although the company is pitching it as being part of Data Privacy Day.

On top of this, the social network has also detailed plans to use videos to educate its users about privacy. The videos will explain how to control who has access to personal data, as well as how to manage the data Facebook uses to control the ads it shows users.

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Facebook says that its privacy principles guide its work and insists that users are granted choice and control about how their data is used. Clearly aware that many people do not know how to take advantage of these options, the social network says that it is "introducing educational videos in its News Feed that help you get information on important privacy topics like how to control what information Facebook uses to show you ads, how to review and delete old posts, and even what it means to delete your account."

Facebook's chief privacy officer, Erin Egan, wrote a blog post in which she explains the company's plans which will see it becoming GDPR-compliant. As well as inviting users to carry out a Privacy Checkup, Egan says that a new, centralized privacy settings tool will be introduced this year.

She goes on to explain Facebook's privacy principles in detail:

We give you control of your privacy
You should be able to make the privacy choices that are right for you. We want to make sure you know where your privacy controls are and how to adjust them. For example, our audience selector tool lets you decide who you share with for every post. We develop controls based on feedback from around the world.

We help people understand how their data is used
While our Data Policy describes our practices in detail, we go beyond this to give you even more information. For example, we include education and tools in people’s day-to-day use of Facebook – like ad controls in the top right corner of every ad.

We design privacy into our products from the outset
We design privacy into Facebook products with guidance from experts in areas like data protection and privacy law, security, interface design, engineering, product management, and public policy. Our privacy team works to build these diverse perspectives into every stage of product development.

We work hard to keep your information secure
We work around the clock to help protect people’s accounts, and we build security into every Facebook product. Our security systems run millions of times per second to help catch threats automatically and remove them before they ever reach you. You can also use our security tools like two-factor authentication to help keep your account even more secure.

You own and can delete your information
You own the information you share on Facebook. This means you decide what you share and who you share it with on Facebook, and you can change your mind. That’s why we give you tools for deleting anything you’ve posted. We remove it from your timeline and from our servers. You can also delete your account whenever you want.

Improvement is constant
We’re constantly working to develop new controls and design them in ways that explain things to people clearly. We invest in research and work with experts beyond Facebook including designers, developers, privacy professionals and regulators.

We are accountable
In addition to comprehensive privacy reviews, we put products through rigorous data security testing. We also meet with regulators, legislators and privacy experts around the world to get input on our data practices and policies.

In addition to the educational videos that will start appearing in news feeds soon, Facebook also says that it will be running workshops throughout 2018 to provide SMEs with information about data protection.

Image credit: icanFly / Shutterstock

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