Facebook’s very first CES expose in years is a personal privacy tool that fails


Revealed: The Secrets our Clients Used to Earn $3 Billion

Facebook’s personal privacy tools let you manage who can see your e-mail address and contact number (other than from the social media network itself). 

Angela Lang / CNET

This story becomes part of CES 2020, our total protection of the display room flooring and the most popular brand-new tech gizmos around.

At CES 2020, Facebook prepares to flaunt an ingenious brand-new idea for the business: personal privacy. It will have a cubicle at the tech program for providing demonstrations on its upgraded Privacy Checkup tool, which it revealed Monday early morning. 

While personal privacy isn’t a glossy item like a TELEVISION or talking fridge that would generally be flaunted at CES, it’s anticipated to have a significant existence at the tech exhibition this year, as tech business deal with more examination from policymakers. This year, Facebook and Apple are set up to speak on a panel about personal privacy. 

This is the very first considerable upgrade to Facebook’s Privacy Checkup tool considering that it was developed in 2014, 4 years prior to its significant Cambridge Analytica information personal privacy scandal broke. Following the scandal, in which an app gathered information from approximately 87 million individuals without their understanding, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg affirmed to Congress on how the social media network prepared to secure individuals’s personal privacy.

Since then, Facebook has actually made a public push on personal privacy, opening pop-up cubicles in cities around the globe to teach individuals about their personal privacy settings on the social media network. At CES, Facebook will be bringing that experience to Las Vegas.

“We know privacy is personal, and we’ve integrated privacy tips to help you make the right privacy decisions for you,” Facebook stated in a declaration. 

Facebook's Privacy Checkup tool

The upgrade to Facebook’s Privacy Checkup covers 4 classifications.


The upgrade to Privacy Checkup broadens its classifications from 3 to 8 various groups, and 4 subjects: 

  • Who can see what you share
  • How to keep your account safe
  • How individuals can discover you on Facebook
  • Your information settings on Facebook     

The brand-new tool offers individuals one main tab where they can alter settings such as evaluating who can see your profile and send you pal demands, allowing login signals and evaluating consents settings for third-party apps. 

Facebook stated it presented these classifications based upon concerns that its users were most worried about. The Data Settings classification, for instance, supplies a hassle-free area where individuals can withdraw consents and gain access to for apps and sites for which they have actually utilized Facebook to visit. But these updates do not attend to information personal privacy concerns that legislators have actually been raising about Facebook for several years. 

Privacy on Facebook vs. personal privacy from Facebook

When Facebook was struck with a record $5 billion fine from the Federal Trade Commission in July, it was over concerns like the Cambridge Analytica information scandal, utilizing telephone number meant for two-factor authentication for marketing and mistakenly saving passwords in plaintext. 

The core of legislators’ personal privacy aggravations about Facebook aren’t about who can send you pal demands; they have to do with information brokers and marketers who can target whole groups of individuals utilizing the social media network. 

“We need to educate the public more on the different types of privacy concerns,” stated Jennifer Grygiel, an assistant teacher at Syracuse University who studies social networks.  “There’s user interface issues, like how I’m being tagged, and greater privacy concerns that only regulators can get insight to, like how your profile is used to algorithmically shift what you see in your newsfeed.”

In November, Sen. Chris Coons, a Democrat from Delaware, called Facebook out over its area information policies, arguing that the business still tracked individuals even when they weren’t utilizing the app. In December, Facebook stated that it would continue its web tracking activities regardless of California’s brand-new information personal privacy law. 

Many of the personal privacy issues surrounding Facebook have to do with personal privacy from the social media network, not on it, which is what the Privacy Checkup tool is generally dealing with. 

If your interest in Facebook have to do with who can see your images, this is a fantastic tool for you. But if you have concerns how with Facebook tracks you, even when your account is shut down, this will not alter much. 

Facebook did reveal strategies to present a tool to avoid online tracking called “Off-Facebook Activity.” That tool released in August and is still presenting internationally, the business stated. This is a different tool and not a part of the Privacy Checkup tool that Facebook is promoting at CES. 

Unlike the Privacy Checkup tool, the Off-Facebook Activity function, which Zuckerberg very first assured in May 2018, would use personal privacy from the social media network itself. 

In Privacy Checkup, you can manage who can see your contact number and e-mail address, however it does not provide you the choice to obstruct Facebook or marketers from seeing and utilizing that exact same info. 

To do that, you’d need to go to a different setting for Ad Control, which does not have the exact same easy to use style or user interface that Privacy Checkup has.  

“There’s a disincentive to make that easier — anytime they inch closer to giving that feature to people, they’re going to lose revenue,” Grygiel stated.    

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Originally published on January 6 at 9 a.m. PT.
Correction at 3:36 p.m. PT:
Two-factor authentication is not currently available in Privacy Checkup, but Facebook said it is working to bring the security measure soon. 

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