Facebook

Facebook said Wednesday it is updating its terms of service to make its commitment to user privacy more explicit. It's also updating its data policy to better define what data it collects and how they use it as well as make its privacy tools easier to find.

Why it matters: While Facebook says the privacy updates have been in the works for a while, the past two weeks of reckoning around data privacy have put an emphasis on things Facebook should be doing to make privacy options more transparent and easier to understand for users.

Our thought bubble: The company notes that "these updates are about transparency – not about gaining new rights to collect, use, or share data." This means that Facebook is not looking to change how it processes user data or shares it with third-parties, but rather it is trying to be more transparent about the practices they've always employed.

What's changing:

  • Redesigned settings menu on mobile from top to bottom to make things easier to find. (Instead of having settings spread across nearly 20 different screens, they're now accessible from a single place.)
  • Cleaned up outdated settings so it's clear what information can and can't be shared with apps.
  • Creating a new Privacy Shortcuts menu to make information about privacy, security, and ads easier to find. Users can add layers of protection to their accounts (like two-factor authentication), review what they've shared and delete it if you want to and manage who sees your posts and profile information all within the new menu.

The company also says it will create an "Access Your Information" portal to manage their information, such as posts, reactions and comments, and things users have searched for — all of which can be deleted from a users' Timeline if desired from there. From there users can also download a secure copy of all of their data and even move it to another service.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 12,220,166 — Total deaths: 553,438 — Total recoveries — 6,696,632Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 3,111,902 — Total deaths: 133,195 — Total recoveries: 969,111 — Total tested: 38,032,966Map.
  3. Public health: More young people are spreading the virus Cases rise in 33 statesFlorida reports highest single-day death toll since pandemic began.
  4. Science: World Health Organization acknowledges airborne transmission of coronavirus.
  5. 1 🐂 thing: How the world could monitor for potential pandemic animal viruses.
5 hours ago - Podcasts

Inside Joe Biden's economic plan

Joe Biden on Thursday returned to his hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania, to give his first major speech on economic policy since becoming the Democratic Party’s presumptive presidential nominee.

Axios Re:Cap digs into Biden's plans, how they developed and how they may change, with former U.S. Commerce secretary and campaign surrogate Penny Pritzker.

5 hours ago - World

Countries grapple with whether to lock back down as hotspots emerge

Tokyo in the time of coronavirus. Photo: Charly Triballeau/AFP via Getty

Many politicians and public health officials sounded a similar lockdown refrain in the spring: let’s do this right so we only have to do it once.

Reality check: While some countries have thus far managed to keep cases under control after opening up, dozens of countries that had initially turned a corner are now seeing a worrying rebound. They have to decide if and how to return to lockdown — and whether their populations will stand for it.