The new year is bringing on a new focus for data-driven changes across many of the social platforms. These changes will impact current users and new users.
Facebook Promotes Data Portability
Those photos and videos you thought might be stuck on Facebook forever may soon have a new home. Facebook announced on its blog that it is opening up the assets its users store on the platform to be shared with other applications and systems.
This new tool will enable Facebook users to transfer their Facebook photos and videos directly to other services, starting with Google Photos.
This will first roll out to people in Ireland, with the rest of the world enjoying access before mid-year of 2020.
People can access this new tool in Facebook settings within Your Facebook Information. Users will have to confirm their passwords before any transfers are begun.
Instagram to Age-Check New Users
Instagram is getting a little more serious about the age of users on the platform.
TechCrunch reports that the platform will soon require all new users to confirm the age before creating a new account. This will have no impact on the millions of accounts already active.
Anyone under the age of 13 will not be able to create an account unless they go through the age verification process. Currently, no such process exists.
Instagram says, “Asking for this information will help prevent underage people from joining Instagram, help us keep young people safer and enable more age-appropriate experiences overall.”
All social platforms are required to protect children younger than 13-years-old. Those that violate the Child Online Privacy Protection Act could pay as much as $40,000 per violation for collecting personal info from children younger than 13.
Twitter Launches the Privacy Center
Speaking of data privacy, Twitter discussed how the platform protects your information in its blog recently. Data Protection Officer Damien Kieran and Product Lead Kayvan Beykpour wrote recently about the launch of the Twitter Privacy Center.
The blog outlines what the center hopes to accomplish:
“… to provide more clarity around what we’re doing to protect the information people share with us. It is the central place that hosts everything that’s part of our privacy and data protection work: related initiatives, announcements, new privacy products, and communication about security incidents. It should be easier to find and learn more about the work we’re doing to keep your data secure, including what data we collect, how we use it, and the controls you have.”
The blog outlines three areas of focus for users:
- Fix technical debt – this is using systems in a way where they weren’t intended. This also includes more transparency about data issues with users.
- Build privacy into the products they launch – these are internal groups and new onboarding practices with hires to ensure privacy is the top focus
- Stay accountable to users – quarterly assessments to the board of directors are among the steps to be taken.
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