Facebook Improves Privacy, Security Controls to Protect Users

Facebook has strengthened user privacy and security controls to help users keep a tighter grip on their data.

Facebook is calling on its 350 million-strong user base to review and update their privacy settings as it rolls out new tools to enable users to better control their information.

The new features, which launch today, include: the ability to control who sees what piece of content on a user's page, a Transition Tool and simplified privacy settings.

"Facebook is transforming the world's ability to control its information online by empowering more than 350 million people to personalize the audience for each piece of content they share," said Elliot Schrage, Vice President of Communications of Public Policy and Marketing at Facebook, in a statement. "We've always designed Facebook to enable people to control what information they share with whom -- it's the reason our service continues to attract such a broad and diverse group of users from around the world. We're proud of the latest evolution we're announcing today and we will continue to innovate to serve users' changing needs."

The more granular controls on content are coming via Facebook's new Publisher Privacy Control, which will enable users to select a privacy setting for every post they make at the time they create it. Facebook has also eliminated regional networks in favor of four basic control settings - friends, friends of friends, everyone and customized.

The Transition Tool offers users a transparent process requiring people to review and update their privacy settings. It starts with a message explaining the changes in the settings and letting users either update or preserve the ones they have.

As users move through the Transition Tool, they'll be presented a -Learn More' link leading to Facebook's new Privacy Center, which explains Facebook's principles of user control and related features. Users new to Facebook will be offered a New User Guide with information about the privacy controls and will receive specific privacy education messages within important Facebook pages.

"One of our primary goals is to consistently improve Facebook and expand what our users can do through the site, and that includes providing them with new tools to help control their information," said Chris Cox, Vice President of Product Management at Facebook, in a statement. "The features we're announcing today aren't the end point, but are simply the latest step in our iterative process. Great suggestions helped us get here, and we look forward to the feedback that will help us develop the next innovation in privacy and user control."