Back in January, Facebook announced that users around the world would receive access to additional privacy settings in light of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into effect in May.
Now, Facebook is revealing more about what these features will entail.
To start, Facebook will ask users to make choices about:
Ads based on data shared with Facebook partners — users will be asked to review information about this form of advertising and decide whether they want Facebook to use this data to show them ads
Profile information — users who have shared political, religious and relationship information will be asked if they want to continue to let Facebook share it, while Facebook says it will also make it easier for those to delete mention of these details entirely
Facial recognition — for the first time in Canada, users will be able to secure their account by turning on facial recognition features. This feature, which is completely optional, was previously available to “most of the world” for more than six years, according to Facebook.
These features are coming to the EU starting this week ahead of May 25th when the new law goes into effect. Facebook says worldwide users will be able to make these choices on a “slightly later schedule.” Privacy tools unveiled last month that make it easier for users to delete their data will also begin rolling out this week, says Facebook.
Additionally, Facebook says it will offer special protections designed specifically for teenagers. The company says it will introduce “a new global online resource centre specifically for teens” later this year, as well as “more education about their most common privacy questions.”
Finally, under the GDPR, Facebook will require that users between the ages of 13 and 15 be given permission from a parent or guardian to allow certain features like seeing ads based on data from partners and religious and political views in a profile.
With these changes, the company says “teens will see a less personalized version of Facebook with restricted sharing and less relevant ads” until an adult has approved otherwise. Facebook says the teenager-centric features will roll out to all users around the world, not just in regions where the law requires it to.
The privacy protections come in the midst of a massive scandal over Facebook’s role in sharing the data of over 87 million people with political analytics firm Cambridge Analytica, including over 600,000 Canadians.
In Canada, a House of Commons ethics committee is currently conducting a two-week review of the social network, while privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien is calling for stronger privacy laws and greater authority for his office to investigate wrongdoing in big companies like Facebook.