What to Know About Facebook’s New ‘Privacy Center’


Facebook has introduced a new Privacy Center that gives users more control over how the platform collects and uses their data. Meta’s former namesake has long been the subject of complaints and concerns about its privacy and data policies. Now, users have a little more say over what data Facebook has access to.

Why Facebook is offering new privacy features

Facebook collects a lot of your data, even when you’re not on Facebook. Hundreds of sites, apps, and services already gather your information when you use them, and many of these sites partner with Facebook, sending certain types of information to the platform if your accounts are connected to your Facebook profile. Facebook uses this info for a few different purposes, including advertising and platform research.

In many cases, advertisers use data collected by Facebook to personalize ads both on the platform and around the web, tailoring ad content to your preferences and browsing history. The new Privacy Center, which includes settings on non-Facebook data sources, is designed to provide users with more information about their account security and how their information is being used, both by Facebook and by its advertising partners.

Around the world, business security, moderation, and data privacy policies are coming under more and more scrutiny. In Germany, for example, lawmakers have considered fining companies for failing to remove illegal content and helped to draft both the EU’s General Data Protection Requirement (GDPR) and the new German Privacy Act (BDSG-new), a law that tightened restrictions on how businesses could capture and use consumer data.

Facebook, like many other social media platforms, is both working to comply with these regulations and take proactive steps to prevent user data from being used improperly. Tools like these may become more common across the web as users demand more control over their data and businesses work to stay compliant with new regulations.

How to use Facebook Privacy Center

Facebook is currently in the process of rolling out Privacy Center to its desktop site; if you have the feature, you’ll find it through your Settings & Privacy menu. From this menu, you can select one of the five modules of the Privacy Center to see all available tools and resources. These modules include:

  • Security: the main section where you can configure most of the available security options. This module includes two-factor authentication (2FA) settings.
  • Sharing: the section where you can control who can see your content and restrict access to certain people.
  • Collection: the section where you can manage on- and off-site data collection.
  • Use: the section that includes information on how and why Facebook parent company Meta uses collected data. You can control and limit Meta’s use of data here.
  • Ads: the section that includes information on data collection relevant to advertising. In this module, you can manage ad personalization and control the data that Facebook provides to its third-party ad partners.

Each of these sections provides valuable information on how Facebook collects and uses your data, plus relevant options on controlling, limiting, or changing the permissions you grant Facebook.