Meta, formerly Facebook, is tinkering around with how it tells users about their privacy options. The company has switched up where this information lives and how it’s explained a number of times over the years and now appears to be centralizing some privacy FAQs and controls in one place across its family of apps.
The new privacy center, called Privacy Center, is a test available to some U.S.-based Facebook desktop users for now but will roll out to “more people and apps in the coming months.” If you’re in the limited test, you can find the new privacy information center in the Privacy section of the Settings menu. As it stands, privacy settings are divided among Facebook’s Privacy Shortcuts and Privacy Checkup menus, which are far from ideal but still an improvement over how the platform used to handle these controls.
The new privacy center will break things down into five categories: Security, Sharing, Collection, Use and Ads. Meta is still pushing the idea of “privacy education” with the changes, a kind of shorthand way of saying that if you don’t go to the trouble of sorting through all of this stuff then it’s on you when the company puts your personal data to good use.
Facebook has historically offered users byzantine, difficult to navigate privacy controls, often with the most important settings buried in menus. That’s improved some, but regardless of what it says these days, Meta still has a vested interest in keeping its users sharing as much data as possible. That position is made abundantly clear by the company’s conspicuous objections to Apple’s iOS ad tracking changes, which limited the ability of apps to follow user behavior — a clear win for consumer privacy.
It’s not realistic to assume that most people would systemically trudge through this information, but it’s probably worth knowing where it all lives, just in case.