Facebook Inc. (FB) - Get Free Report announced changes to its platform on Wednesday that make privacy settings easier to find and use, helping stem big declines in its stock in response to news of data mishandling and misuse.
The social media giant's stock was up 0.9% to $153.56 in early morning trading after the changes were disclosed on Wednesday morning in a statement from Erin Egan, Facebook's vice president and chief privacy officer, and Ashlie Beringer, vice president and deputy general counsel. The stock plunged 14% last week on the news and fell another 5% on Tuesday.
Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter said that the stock's journey will be "schizophrenic" as Facebook takes steps toward fixing the damage from its data scandals, and as more investigations and public testimony from executives take place.
"It will go up when they do something right, and drop when there is the potential for something bad to happen," Pachter said in an email. "You should expect this to be a weekly occurrence for the next few months, with the potential for more frequent moves."
Facebook has redesigned the settings menu on mobile devices to make settings options accessible on a single screen and added a "Privacy Shortcuts" menu, which gives users a compact place to control two-factor authentication, review or remove personal information, manage ad preferences and change who can see their profile.
The company also added new tools to access and delete user data called "Access Your Information." Users can go through and manage their posts, comments and search history in a single place.
"It seems overly dramatic to comment on something they've done hundreds of times before," Pachter said. "However, it's clear that this is the third leg of Zuckerberg's promise to users in his blog post (make privacy more transparent to users) and it's impressive that they rolled these changes out so quickly."
Egan and Beringer also wrote that in the weeks to come, Facebook will be proposing updates to the platform's terms of service and its data policy to increase transparency around what data is collected and how it is used.
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