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Klaus vom Hofe

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Facebook: Deutsche Telekom app helps with data privacy

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As my younger colleagues keep telling me with a nudge and a wink: “You don’t need that anymore – it’s so yesterday, what with Snapchat, WhatsApp, etc.” And yet, this week I did what I have been putting off for years: I opened a Facebook account. 

DT's data privacy tip 3

Tips, information and an individual testimonial about your Facebook profile privacy settings: the Privacy Manager.

And that was when all those uncertainties and questions I had heard raised came rushing back. Who’s allowed to view my photos? Who can link to my Facebook page and who else can view that page as a result? What parts of my public profile can people see who aren’t my Facebook friends? If you have an Android smartphone and are as lost as I am, you can now get help for free from Deutsche Telekom. The magic word is Privacy Manager.

Use the app to ramp up your security

The new Deutsche Telekom app, which you can download from the Google Play Store, offers you an overview of the data privacy functions and settings on Facebook. The Privacy Manager helps you find the settings that match your particular security needs. It analyzes the individual data privacy settings of your Facebook profile and assigns an overall score to the level of security. Users can then use the app to improve security and receive tips and explanations to help them along. What is more, the app offers updates and information on the changes regularly made by Facebook.

What impressed me was that the app was developed by up-and-coming young Deutsche Telekom employees – highly talented trainees and students on a cooperative study program. Deutsche Telekom is fostering this group of employees in dedicated programs such as Young IT Talents and Young Sales Talents in an effort to retain their services for the company. Although these individuals work in many different departments spread right across Germany, and despite the fact the one year’s intake replaces the next in development, they succeeded in getting the app into the Google Play Store after many hours of programming and texting. (You can use the QR code below to access it.) They worked on their own initiative, receiving support only from our social media and data privacy specialists.

iOS app to launch in spring 2018

The important thing for the developers was that the app does not make decisions for users as regards what content they want to share with strangers, friends, and friends of friends, or as to how open or strict they want to be with their personal data. But it does provide them with help with all these questions. The app will be launched in the Apple Store in spring 2018, allowing iOS users to profit from it as well.

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This initiative teaches me two things. First, there is demand for data privacy. And, second, there are a lot of good ideas out there, but they only become a reality when enthusiastic, creative people work together to implement them. And who but those who have grown up with the technology could be better placed to achieve that with a data privacy app for social networks? That gives me, a real Facebook rookie, a very good feeling.

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