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Facebook Undergoes A ‘Philosophical Shift’ As It Takes On Privacy Concerns

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Since Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified on Capitol Hill last month following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the company has stepped up its focus on user privacy. The move also comes amid the revelation that the controversial research firm may have accessed the data of 87 million Facebook users.

On Tuesday (May 15), Facebook announced that it had suspended 200 apps as part of its ongoing investigation into how third parties handle user data. The company said that it has “large teams” of experts looking into those apps.

“To date, thousands of apps have been investigated and around 200 have been suspended — pending a thorough investigation into whether they did in fact misuse any data,” Facebook has said.

Beyond the suspensions, the company said that it plans to notify users if an app misused their data via a website. The page will “show people if they or their friends installed an app that misused data before 2015 — just as we did for Cambridge Analytica,” Facebook said.

And in April, Facebook provided the world with more detail on how and why it chooses to delete content from its network through a “community standards” guidebook that it published on its website. The book provides detail on how the network’s 7,500 moderators decide what text, pictures and video are removed. It was released to provide users with insight into Facebook’s decision-making process, Monika Bickert, Facebook’s head of global policy management, said in a company release.

“We decided to publish these internal guidelines for two reasons,” Bickert wrote in the post. “First, the guidelines will help people understand where we draw the line on nuanced issues. Second, providing these details makes it easier for everyone, including experts in different fields, to give us feedback so that we can improve the guidelines – and the decisions we make – over time.”

And, at Facebook’s developer conference earlier this month, Zuckerberg announced in his keynote address that the social media site will be adding a “Clear History” button that will give users essentially the same power to clear their Facebook history that they have to clear their web browser’s history. The tool specifically removes information about users’ interactions away from Facebook.

These changes come about a month after Zuckerberg made a two-day trip to Capitol Hill. Many had described that visit as his “public apology tour.”

“We have made a lot of mistakes in running the company,” Zuckerberg had said. “It is impossible to start a company in your dorm room without making mistakes.”

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