Do you take a heavy dose of reality with your coffee? No?
Facebook’s latest foray into teaching its users about how to handle their privacy settings involves opening pop-up cafes around the United Kingdom. The cafes, which function as both coffee spots and places where users can learn more about the ins and outs of Facebook, function as a way to attempt to regain consumer trust after the Cambridge Analytica scandal nearly destroyed Facebook in the eyes of the consumer. The cafes are the company’s way of aiming to make learning about data protection fun and palatable to its more than 2.3 billion users.
Data Protection – What You Need To Know
For many, the concept of data protection is not of much interest. Most Facebook users don’t look too deep into the details of Facebook’s privacy policies, and simply maintain the surface level default privacy restrictions laid out by the ever-changing online platform. Understanding what data the company is taking from its users and how that data is used, however, is an integral part of the online experience that can help shape a user’s everyday life and decisions. More recently, the company has come under fire for its carelessness toward the way user data is mishandled. Outside of Facebook, data is becoming an increasingly talked about subject as breaches and hacked databases expose sensitive user information at a near constant rate.
This is why Facebook is investing in tools to help educate its users with a face-to-face experience. At the Apple Store, Apple users can get firsthand experience with a trained expert on how to navigate the products and troubleshoot potential issues. Since Facebook operates exclusively online, its relationship with its user base is fairly distant. The company’s decision to invest in heartfelt experiences that teach users about how their data is used can help bridge the gap between data misuse and individual user rights. Because the company puts data protection at the hand of its users, Facebook is less responsible when users are displeased with what the website reveals about them.
Nevertheless, the company knows it could stand to do a bit more when it comes to educating its users about the reasons for data options and data protection that go beyond simply not wanting your boss to see what you did last weekend. Users can access the privacy checkup option on their own, but the Facebook Cafe locations will offer an IRL way to learn about the benefits of privacy controls from a trained expert. Plus, guests will be treated to coffee and a place to hang out away from the busy London streets for a brief moment.
Facebook’s U.K. Cafes
Facebook will open five cafes throughout the United Kingdom from August 28 to September 5. The company plans to entice Facebook users with free coffee if they agree to come in and get a free privacy checkup on their profile. Users can login at the cafe and be shown how to check their profile’s privacy settings. If you’re not in the United Kingdom, you can do this yourself by going to Facebook and clicking on the question mark icon in the top right side of the screen (on a desktop, that is). When you click “privacy checkup,” it will bring you to a pop up window that teaches you about the different privacy settings on the platform, as well as giving you the option on how to change them according to your own needs.