Facebook to give users more control over privacy

WASHINGTON: Facebook said yesterday it would overhaul its privacy settings tools to put users "more in control" of their information.

"We have heard loud and clear that privacy settings and other important tools are too hard to find and we must do more to keep people informed," chief privacy officer Erin Egan and deputy general counsel Ashlie Beringer said in a blog post.

"We are taking additional steps in the coming weeks to put people more in control of their privacy," they confirmed.

The updates include improving ease of access to Facebook's user settings, a privacy shortcuts menu and tools to search for, download and delete personal data stored by Facebook.

Meanwhile, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg plans to testify before US Congress, a source briefed on the matter said, as he bows to pressure from lawmakers insisting he explain how 50 million users' data ended up in the hands of a political consultancy.

Lawmakers in the US and Europe are demanding to know more about the company's privacy practices after a whistleblower said consultancy Cambridge Analytica improperly accessed data to target US and British voters in close-run elections.

Three users of the Facebook Messenger app sued Facebook on Tuesday.

They said the social network violated their privacy by collecting logs of their phone calls and text messages, in the latest legal challenge facing the company.

The US lawsuit filed in federal court in the Northern District of California seeks status as a class action on behalf of all affected users and asks for unspecified damages. - AFP, REUTERS