CNET reports on Facebook finally centralizing all their privacy tools to make them easier to locate and use by the average, non-tech savvy user:

In an emailed statement, Facebook Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan and Deputy General Counsel Ashlie Beringer spelled out the steps the company is taking, saying these will “put people in more control over their privacy.”

“We’ve heard loud and clear that privacy settings and other important tools are too hard to find, and that we must do more to keep people informed,” they said.

Here’s the basic rundown:

  • Privacy settings in one place: Simplifies settings from being “spread across nearly 20 different screens.”
  • Privacy Shortcuts menu: Brings together two-factor authentication, ad controls, tools to manage who sees your posts and controls for reviewing what you’ve shared.
  • Access Your Information tool: Lets you access, manage and delete information from your profile or timeline (including posts, reactions, comments and search history).
  • Secure download of all Facebook data: Including photos, contacts and posts (and the ability to move it to another service).

It’s a big change. While many of us treat our Facebook posts as social ephemera that slip away into the ether, Facebook has long stored all of this personal data to serve brands and its own ad-targeting tools.

Facebook started out very private, then slowly migrated towards hiding its privacy controls in favor of increased public posting and removing anonymity. Now in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica story, Facebook is moving back to where it should have stayed all along: easy-to-use privacy controls.

Facebook never should have made those ill-advised changes to begin with, so it is good to see them making this move.