Facebook Adds Privacy, Security Controls for Page Administrators

Facebook has created new roles for administrators that allow the managers of marketing pages to give other people limited administrative privileges without turning over full control of the page.

Facebook on May 31 added new security controls for the administrators of the social network site€™s Pages service.

The Pages service is used by businesses and organizations for marketing purposes. Now, managers of such pages can give restricted administrator rights to other people. The changes are detailed in Facebook's Help Center.

"We introduced this as a new feature to allow Page administrators to have better control and management over their Pages," a Facebook spokesperson said.

The changes include five new roles: Manager, Content Creator, Moderator, Advertiser and Insights Analyst. Each role comes with different powers. Managers, for example, can manage administrative roles, edit the page, add apps, create ads, view insights, respond to and delete comments, create posts and send messages as the Page moderator. Someone with the role of Insight Analysts, however, can only view insights. There is no limit to the number of administrators a Page can have.

The new controls give administrators more flexibility for security. Instead of handing the keys to the entire Facebook page over to someone else, administrators can assign other people lower rights, explained Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.

"Facebook page managers have the power to send messages, view insights and create posts and adverts," he blogged. "Crucially, they are also the only role which can access admin roles, and remove other administrators. In the past, staff who simply wanted to access a Facebook page's admin panel to view statistics on how users were engaging with it, or running advertising campaigns, needed full admin rights - something which could be a disaster waiting to happen."

A few weeks ago, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Facebook in California seeking $15 billion in damages for privacy violations related to the way the social network tracks users.

The suit, which was filed by law firm Stewarts Law U.S., combined 21 privacy lawsuits filed against the social network in more than a dozen states into a single legal action. The litigation stems from accusations made in September 2011 that Facebook tracked user activity even after people have left the site.

According to a recent study by Consumer Reports, an estimated 13 million Facebook users in the United States are unaware of or do not use the site's privacy controls. In addition, 28 percent of the people the magazine polled said they share either all or almost all their Facebook posts with people beyond their "friends." Just 37 percent said they have used the site€™s privacy tools to limit how much information apps are allowed to see.