Back in January we published our predictions for the year. One of those predictions was about Privacy and how we should expect to see new tools put in place to better protect our identity and our online habits. Well, we haven’t seen too much about actual hardware and software (doesn’t mean it’s not happening, we just haven’t noticed too much just yet), but we do see policies evolving and actions from major platforms like Facebook. Mashable posted this article last week about Facebook partnering with the National Association of Attorneys General:
Facebook and privacy sometimes seems like an oxymoron — words or ideas that contradict one other. Users complain about Facebook’s privacy settings being too difficult to understand and properly implement.
Now, Facebook and the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) want to change that through a consumer education program.
They’re partnering on a program “designed to provide teens and their parents with tools and tips to manage their privacy and visibility” on Facebook and online.
NAAG President and Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler kicked off the campaign during a “Privacy in the Digital Age” summit Monday morning.
“Teenagers and adults should know there are tools to help protect their online privacy when they go on Facebook and other digital platforms,” Gansler said.
The alliance will consist of a few different approaches, beginning with an NAAG “Safety and Privacy on Facebook” page. There, users will find basic info on how to set privacy settings and controls — think of it as Facebook 101.
There’s also an “Ask the Safety Team Video” series, where users can get answers to privacy questions directly from Facebook’s safety team.
“At Facebook, we work hard to make sure people understand how to control their information and stay safe online,” Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said in a statement.
Public service announcements (PSAs) with attorneys general in 19 states will be distributed starting Tuesday, with topics such as “What you Can Do to Control Your Information?” as well as answers to questions about online bullying.
Facebook says it will continue to work with attorneys general around the country, though they’re not revealing the other states just yet.
Though Facebook use among teens appears to be declining, as kids move the conversation to social networks such as Instagram and Snapchat, it’s important for Facebook to provide these educational tools.
Last summer, Facebook settled with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), agreeing to make it more clear to users when the social network is sharing their information beyond what their privacy settings mandate. Under that settlement they agreed to initiate a program to protect users’ privacy and get their approval before sharing any information.