News Response: Facebook Privacy Update

In response to the recent Cambridge Analytica incident, Facebook has announced a soon-to-be-released new centralized system for its users to control their privacy and security settings. This system will allow users to view and change their privacy and security settings from one place, rather than having to navigate through 20 different sections in the platform. Facebook has been developing the new system since last year, but sped it up after the Cambridge Analytica revelations. Zuckerberg has made a statement that Facebook plans to handle user data better and promised to give users more control over their privacy settings.

Facebook’s plan certainly seems to be a step in the right direction, but there are a few points that caught my attention. First, it concerns me that the platform has existed for over a decade now, and yet only now the system for privacy settings is being revamped for easier use, after such a major incident like Cambridge happened. Why did Facebook wait so long to fix a flaw in their platform that many people have probably complained about already? This lead to my second concern: Why were Facebook’s security settings designed in such a hard way to navigate? Many other sites already figured it out and have all their privacy settings in one place for ease of use, but a major social media platform, a place where those settings are especially important, somehow failed in that regard. Regardless of why Facebook didn’t do these things, users will have to hold on a little bit longer until they have better control over what data they reveal to the public.