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Facebook Updates Privacy Features: The Week in Data News

In a new update, Facebook has committed to bringing the app’s privacy settings to the forefront and making them easier to navigate. And they did so just in time for Data Privacy Day, a fairly new holiday that brings some much needed attention to the issue. Read on for this week’s data privacy recap.

Facebook announces new features geared towards data privacy

In the spirit of Data Privacy Day, Facebook announced a new batch of updates this past week. Earlier in the month, they made some notable changes, most notably the addition of notification alerts for third-party logins. The first of these latest changes, however, is that users will be prompted to review their privacy settings with a newly-renovated Privacy Checkup tool. This feature essentially walks users through their current data settings and allows them to easily modify them. Another new feature is the Off-Facebook Activity tool, which shows a summary of all the data gathered by businesses for the purposes of targeted ads. You’ll be able to remove specific data points if you so choose. Overall, Facebook has vowed to “continue to make progress on this important work in the decade ahead.”

Google keeps a scary amount of data on you – but you can change that

A good amount of news outlets focused on privacy this week in the spirit of the holiday, explaining some key issues and spreading valuable information. One such article focused on Google’s ability to collective massive amounts of information about internet uses. Some key examples include every search you input into the engine, every YouTube video you watch, and everywhere you travel with Google Maps. And the scariest record of all is likely the location history feature, which keeps an updated log of your whereabouts. Considering how essential Google has become to the everyday lives of people around the world, it can be difficult to find the right balance of taking advantage of the technology without falling victim to its somewhat predatory practices. For an incredibly comprehensive guide on how to turn off or at least adjust these settings, give that CNET link a click up above.

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Data privacy: Top trends to watch in 2020

Now that 2019 is firmly in the rear view, it’s time to focus on how data privacy will grow and evolve in 2020. This evolution is undoubtedly accelerating due to the passage of massive privacy laws like the GDPR and CCPA. The fines for failure to comply are going to become a massive trend this year, as more companies are likely to face penalties while trying to keep up with the new rules. Another trend that will surely play a part is how technology, particularly artificial intelligence (AI) will help citizens. Privacy enhancing technologies (PETs) like homomorphic encryption will work to protect people, while cleverly designed apps like 2019’s FaceApp may still sneak through the cracks to slurp up user data. Another key trend deals with social media, as many are deleting profiles and encouraging others to do the same. For the full list of trends, we recommend diving into this article.

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Ad industry seeks to delay new California data privacy law

While many sectors are encouraging and praising the advances brought forth by data privacy legislation, some are resisting it. Most notably, some of the biggest advertising trade associations are fighting back, including the American Advertising Federation (AAF). They see these changes as an attack on their business models. More specifically, these groups are claiming that they don’t have enough time to get in compliance with the CCPA. To help remedy this issue, they are requesting a delay in enforcement for at least another six months.“It’s a complex industry. There are companies that need time to adapt,” said Clark Rector, executive vice president of government affairs at the AAF. “It’s hard to get ready to comply when you don’t know what you’re getting ready to comply with.” Another point of contention, of course, is that the law creates restrictions around the sale of personal data, but it does not clearly lay out what counts as selling data. This nitty-gritty distinction represents the kind of details that will have to be hammered out.

What do you think was the most important data story of the week? Reach out to us on social media and let us know.