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Facebook publishes privacy principles for the first time

The social network is opening up about privacy in preparation for upcoming changes to EU data protection laws

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Facebook is prepping for the introduction of new EU privacy laws.

Facebook is getting transparent about privacy.

The social network publicly published its privacy principles for the first time on Monday and is also releasing a series of educational videos to help users understand how the company uses their data, and how they can control it.

Facebook also said in a privacy-focused blog post that it also plans to introduce a new privacy center this year. This will group core privacy settings in one place, with the aim of making it even easier for users to manage their privacy.

Facebook's privacy push comes in response to years of criticism over the complexity of its privacy settings, but the timing is also significant. Strict new EU data protection laws, known as GDPR, are coming into force in May this year, meaning that Facebook and every other internet company operating in Europe must observe a higher standard of consent from users and provide them with more rights over their personal data.

Facebook has committed to comply with GDPR when it comes into force and is also helping other small and medium businesses prepare for the changes to come.

"Our efforts to build data protection into our products and give you more information and control reflect core principles we've had on privacy," said the company's chief privacy officer Erin Egan in the blog post. "We'll keep improving our privacy tools and look forward to hearing what you think."