Facebook introduces Privacy Basics, gives users more control over ads


Ever wondered why you’re seeing an ad, or why people who aren’t your friends are commenting on or liking your posts? Facebook privacy can be confusing to many, which is why the company announced Thursday a feature called Privacy Basics, where users can have all of their privacy concerns answered in a highly visual and intuitive way.

Privacy Basics is broken up into three main categories: what others see about you, how others interact with you and what you see.

Erin Egan, Facebook’s Chief Privacy Officer, described Privacy Basics:

Privacy Basics offers interactive guides to answer the most commonly asked questions about how you can control your information on Facebook. For example, you can learn about untagging, unfriending, and blocking, and how to choose an audience for your posts. This information is available in 36 languages.

Privacy Basics is the latest step we’ve taken to help you make sure you’re sharing with exactly who you want, including our privacy checkupreminder for people posting publicly and simplified audience selectors.

In an update the site’s terms and policies, Facebook is also giving users more control over the kinds of ads they see both on desktop and mobile.

Egan described these changes:

We’ve heard from some of you that it can be difficult to control the types of ads you see if you use multiple devices and browsers. In the past, if you opted out of certain kinds of advertising on your laptop, that choice may not have been applied for ads on your phone. We know that many people use more than one phone, tablet, or browser to access Facebook, so it should be easy for you to make a single choice that applies across all of your devices.

That’s why Facebook respects the choices you make about the ads you see, across every device. You can opt out of seeing ads on Facebook based on the apps and sites you use through the Digital Advertising Alliance. You can also opt out using controls on iOS and Android. When you tell us you don’t want to see these types of ads, your decision automatically applies to every device you use to access Facebook. Also, we’re now making our ad preferences tool available in additional countries, beginning with Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, and the UK.

Readers: What do you think of Privacy Basics?