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Facebook enhances privacy education for users

Facebook is pushing forward with its privacy policy education effort for users, launching an enhanced guidelines page for new Facebookers.

Those who are still not members of the popular social network but want to join will be greeted with more prominent and detailed educational privacy information upon sign-up.

"At Facebook, we're committed to making sure people understand how to control what they share and with whom," Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan said in a statement. "We appreciate the guidance we've received from the Irish Data Protection Commissioner's Office as we strive to highlight the many resources and tools we offer to help people control their information on Facebook."

The changes, which are part of the network's broader privacy efforts, are rolling out to most new users today. Egan's nod to Irish authorities was a reference to a privacy audit conducted by data protection officials in Ireland last year.

Specific details about topics like default settings, shared Timeline audiences, access to data, and interactions with games, apps, and websites will now be outlined for Facebook users, the company said. Additionally, the site will explain more thoroughly how Facebook ads work, how tagging people and things works, and how to find friends through search and contact importers.

Meanwhile, new in-line privacy controls now allow users to select an audience for their school, college/university, and employer when they sign up.

The existing privacy information has also been updated for all users to find out more about the recent changes.

In May, Facebook updated its privacy policy, clarifying what it does with users' data, pointing to changes including some always-visible data (like name, profile picture, Timeline cover photo, network, gender, and username), forever-saved posts, data-based advertising campaigns, and more. At the time, Egan said the changes were implemented in part to make Facebook more transparent to users.