9 Important Changes Facebook Is Making To Restrict Data Access

Facebook on Wednesday also said as many as 87 million users were affected by the data breach.

9 Important Changes Facebook Is Making To Restrict Data Access

Cambridge Analytica data breach has dealt a major blow to the image of Facebook.

Hit by a massive data breach scandal, Facebook on Wednesday announced changes to help users better protect their data. Facebook's chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer said the implementation of new privacy tools for users of the huge social network. In a statement, Mr Schroepfer outlined the changes that Facebook was making to raise the privacy bar and protect user data from unauthorised access. He said Facebook would make more changes over the coming months.

Here are the details of the important changes Facebook is making:

  1. Events API: Till today, people could grant an app permission to get information about events they host or attend, including private events. Now, apps using the API, or Application Program Interface, will no longer be able to access the guest list or posts on the event wall. And in the future, only apps we approve that agree to strict requirements will be allowed to use the Events API.

  2. Groups API: Apps currently need permission of a group admin or member to access group content for closed groups, and the permission of an admin for secret groups. Going forward, all third-party apps using the Groups API will need approval from Facebook and an admin to ensure they benefit the group. Apps will no longer be able to access the member list of a group.

  3. Pages API: Until today, any app could use the Pages API to read posts or comments from any page. Starting now, all future access to the Pages API will need to be approved by Facebook.

  4. Facebook Login: Facebook will now need to approve all apps that request access to information such as check-ins, likes, photos, posts, videos, events and groups. Facebook will no longer allow apps to ask for access to personal information such as religious or political views, relationship status and details, custom friends lists etc.

  5. Instagram Platform API: Facebook is shutting down part of the Instagram API, which was originally scheduled for depreciation on July 31.

  6. Search and Account Recovery: People could earlier enter another person's phone number or email address into Facebook search to help find them. This feature has now been disabled.

  7. Call and Text History: Facebook does not collect the content of messages - and will delete all logs older than one year. In the future, the client will only upload to Facebook's servers the information needed to offer this feature - not broader data such as the time of calls.

  8. Data Providers and Partner Categories: Facebook last week announced plans to shut down Partner Categories, a product that lets third-party data providers offer their targeting directly on Facebook.

  9. App Controls: From April 9, Facebook users will be able to see a link at the top of their News Feed so they can see what apps they use - and the information they have shared with those apps. As part of this process we will also tell people if their information may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica.

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