Facebook rolls out 'privacy checkup'

SAN FRANCISCO - Facebook on Thursday began rolling out its "privacy checkup" aimed at helping users of the huge social network better manage sharing their information and postings.

The new system uses a blue dinosaur to guide Facebook users through its maze of privacy settings for personal information and for sharing their posts.

"We know you come to Facebook to connect with friends, not with us," Facebook's Paddy Underwood said in a blog post.

"But we also know how important it is to be in control of what you share and who you share with."

Facebook announced the plan in June in its latest response to concerns about privacy, following criticism over its data mining practices for marketing purposes.

The dinosaur will pop up when users log on to Facebook, and take them through each step of the privacy settings, from their personal information to the apps that may access Facebook data.

A privacy shortcut will also be on each Facebook page to allow users to update their privacy settings.

Facebook, which has grown to more than a billion members worldwide, has been dogged by privacy issues for years, as well as by lawsuits claiming it fails to ensure personal data is safeguarded from marketers and third-party apps.

The group agreed with a US government agency to submit to external audits of how well it guards users' data.

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