Facebook will begin the process of asking its users to review information about how the company uses their data, requiring consent for the platform to target ads ahead of the enforced General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on May 25.
Announcing the terms in a company blog post, Facebook said users will be asked to make choices about whether or not they want the social media giant to use data from partners to target ads and if they would like to share information in their profiles - giving users more control over their privacy and personal data.
In addition to data from partners and information, users will have the option to activate facial recognition to help improve privacy and user experience. Facebook states in the blog post that this will help detect when someone might be breaching or attempting to use their profile picture, while also suggesting friends they want to tag in photos or videos with.
Facebook adds that facial recognition will be off by default for users under the age of 18 in a bid to protect their privacy and limit on how can view and search their information.
This step from Facebook ahead of GDPR follows fallout from the Cambridge Analytica scandal where 87 million user profiles were used for data purposes in the run up the US presidential election. Earlier this month, Facebook also confirmed the end of its Partner Categories - where the social channel allowed third-party data aggregators to provide ad businesses user offline data to inform its own ad targeting.
These changes are all part of Facebook’s public effort to clean up its data practices; however, some have criticised the social media platform’s new user permission in that they’re intentionally designed to be confusing. In addition, critics have raised the issue of users being unable to completely opt out of receiving targeted ads - leading to a possible introduction where users may have to pay to opt out entirely which could be unwelcome news given the company’s current sentiment among its users.