Facebook wants you to know that it’s accountable for your privacy

By Cameron Abbott and Samantha Tyrrell

Facebook has always been confronted with privacy-related scrutiny, including being the respondent in the proceedings that ultimately brought down the EU-US privacy shield. On 28 January 2018, Facebook revealed its “privacy principles” to users for the first time. Via a series of educational videos and a ‘Privacy Check Up’ function, Facebook has shared the core principles it uses to guide its approach to privacy. Facebook will also roll out a new hub which will allow users to more easily control their privacy settings.

Facebook’s Seven Privacy Principles

  • We give you control of your privacy
  • We help people understand how their data is used
  • We design privacy into our products from the outset
  • We work hard to keep your information secure
  • You own and can delete your information
  • Improvement is constant
  • We are accountable

Perhaps most interesting among these is the overarching principle of accountability. According to Facebook’s announcement, ‘accountability’ means keeping information secure via rigorous data security testing as well as by receiving input on data regulation policies from experts and regulators from around the world.This statement on accountability may be seen as either a proactive decision driven by customer satisfaction or a decision prompted by the changing regulatory environment. Either way, this demonstrates a broader trend towards transparency and accountability that multinational companies should be aware of.

Facebook’s commitment to accountability came about on Data Privacy Day; a day premised on empowering individuals to understand how their personal data is being used. Additionally, this move comes ahead of the EU’s privacy law changes (under the General Data Protection Regulation) which come into effect on 25 May 2018.

This statement on accountability may be seen as either a proactive decision driven by customer satisfaction or a decision prompted by the changing regulatory environment. Either way, this demonstrates a broader trend towards transparency and accountability that multinational companies should be aware of.

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