Facebook rolls out simplified privacy tools amid continued fallout from its Cambridge Analytica scandal

Facebook rolls out new privacy tools
(Image credit: Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images)

On Wednesday morning, Facebook announced that it is consolidating its privacy and security settings so users have an easier time managing what data about them Facebook and third parties can access. Facebook has made similar moves in the past, including combining most of its privacy settings into one page in 2009, but mobile users still had to go to almost 20 different screens to access their privacy settings. Most of the new changes have been in the works for "some time," Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan said in a blog post, "but the events of the past several days underscore their importance."

Since it emerged this month that British data firm Cambridge Analytica used a Facebook quiz to harvest private information from 50 million users for political purposes, Facebook has faced hard new scrutiny from Congress and a Federal Trade Commission investigation, and its stock price has dropped 18 percent. It's also facing tighter European Union privacy regulations in the next few weeks. Facebook shares were up nearly 2 percent in early trading Wednesday. Facebook isn't changing what information it gathers from users, but it will give them an easier way to delete information they have shared in the past. The company says it plans to update its privacy policy in coming weeks.

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Peter Weber, The Week US

Peter has worked as a news and culture writer and editor at The Week since the site's launch in 2008. He covers politics, world affairs, religion and cultural currents. His journalism career began as a copy editor at a financial newswire and has included editorial positions at The New York Times Magazine, Facts on File, and Oregon State University.