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Facebook announces pop-up cafés across the UK

In a bid to help users better protect their privacy and to get closer to the customer, Facebook has taken the interesting step of announcing ‘Pop-Up Cafés’ across the UK.

While free coffee will be available at the new Facebook cafés, the main goal will be to help users better understand their security options by way of a ‘Privacy Check-up’, that will take about the same time you’d spend grabbing a cup of coffee.

Facebook has come under much criticism in recent years as their business model is effectively built around farming out user’s private data to advertisers.

The social media giant is second only to Google in terms of the data that is available to advertisers, and the privacy concerns are something that Facebook clearly is looking to address.

During the privacy check-up, users will be able find out how to adjust their privacy settings, with many users simply sticking with the default settings.

According to Facebook’s European Vice President Steve Hatch, privacy remains an important part of what the company is trying to do.

“‘It’s normal to worry about who can see the things you share on social media and that’s why we have made customising your privacy settings on Facebook quick and easy.

“At our pop-up cafés, you can get help and advice on how to change your privacy settings – and all in the time it takes to make a cup of coffee.”

The first ‘Facebook Pop-Up Café’ will open inside London’s ‘Attendant’ coffee shop in late August, with four others to follow around the UK. Free drinks from a “limited menu” will be on offer, while users grab their free privacy check-ups.

In March, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg spoke about just how important privacy was to the company in a blog post on the subject.

“I believe a privacy-focused communications platform will become even more important than today’s open platforms… I believe the future of communication will increasingly shift to private, encrypted services where people can be confident what they say to each other stays secure and their messages and content won’t stick around forever. This is the future I hope we will help bring about,” Mr Zuckerberg said.

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Rowan Crosby

Rowan Crosby is a freelance journalist specialising in finance and real estate.